Do Corporate Counsel Value Legal Directories?

by 04g7F1nl02 on February 29, 2008 · 0 comments

in Corporate counsel issues,Legal marketing

There’s a huge amount of conversation these days about the value of legal directories…whether they’re a phenomenon of the past or still relevant. And I know the debate gets very heated.

I’m in a unique position – in that I don’t really have to get too involved in the law firm debate. Here at Martindale – I’m focused exclusively on corporate counsel. And making sure I understand their needs is my only concern.

I’ve heard an earful about how law firms do or don’t value Martindale anymore. But there hasn’t been so much discussion out there about how corporate counsel feel. I wanted to find out.

So, in January, I conducted a survey to understand corporate counsel’s attitudes and product preferences. The survey went out to thousands of corporate counsel across all industries – without regard to whether or not they have a known relationship to Martindale. We received more than 730 responses from corporate counsel of all ranks – from Fortune 100 companies on down to private concerns.

I was very interested in the findings – so I thought I’d share some of them…

Of particular interest to me was the question asking counsel to rank, in order of importance, various resources they leverage when hiring outside counsel. It came as no surprise that at the top of the list, more than 90% of corporate counsel respondents ranked personal referrals from colleagues as important. This figure is consistent with everything I know about how corporate counsel make hiring decisions.

The next resource most frequently relied upon by corporate counsel was Martindale-Hubbell, with 42% of respondents ranking as being important in the hiring process. Is that a high number or low number? I wasn’t sure. So the obvious next question is, how did it compare to other resources?

Google came in a distant third place behind personal referrals and with only 18% of respondants viewing it as an important resource.

Best Lawyers was an even more distant fourth, with 9% of respondents viewing it as important.

And Chambers came in behind Best Lawyers, with 7% of respondents ranking it as important.

Trailing these services even farther in popularity with corporate counsel was SuperLawyers with 6%, and Law Dragon and Avvo with less than 1% of respondents viewing them as important.

I’m not going to comment on these survey results. People can draw their own conclusions. But those are the unvarnished numbers coming back to me directly from corporate counsel.

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