Planning Your Awards Calendar for the Year

December 18, 2023

Seems like you just submitted the final Crain’s nominations and Chambers submissions for 2023. Time to take a break from awards, right?

Well… maybe for a few days, but the lull following the last deadlines of 2023 is the perfect time to take stock of how your awards program performed in 2023 and how you might like to adjust your efforts in the coming year. The more strategic you can be in selecting award opportunities that are a good fit for your firm’s priorities, and choosing the “faces” of your firm — those partners and practices firm leaders want to see highlighted in the coming year — the more likely you will be to rack up the wins that make everyone happy. Here are some best practices:

  • Audit the firm’s performance in 2023. What’s your win rate? Did you spend time on awards that did not pan out? Has the landscape changed in the past 12 months, internally or externally? How should that alter your plans for the coming year?
  • Refresh your knowledge of the various categories of legal industry awards and directories so that you can decide which ones are worth the effort. We’ve created a general overview to get you started.
  • Seek guidance from leadership on 2024 priorities. Are there high-profile lateral hires who need some love? Have you expanded a practice or landed a big client you want to be sure to highlight? How can you use awards opportunities to further your DEI goals?
  • Finally, create a calendar for the full year. Some of our clients do this in a project-management tool like Asana or Monday; others use a good old-fashioned spreadsheet. Either way, the goal is to get a bird’s-eye view of the entire year so that you can be sure opportunities are appropriately distributed and that you have the staff you need at the time you need them to compile your submissions and nominations.
  • Make your plan. Be realistic about how much your team can take on at once (the deadlines do seem to cluster at particular times throughout the year). Do you need to tap a freelancer for some extra support? You may also want to think about how you can work most efficiently to gather raw material from attorneys. Sometimes it’s helpful to pull prompts from multiple awards and knock them out in a single call. And be sure to build in time for the review and approval process (and the many nudges you will likely need to send along the way!).

If your planning leads to more questions than answers, give us a call. Helping firms get the most bang for their buck from industry awards is a Page 2 specialty!