Kelso Consulting's blog for lawyers

Awards:  if you're so good... why doesn't your law firm have any??

By Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Awards help law firms of all sizes stand out

Ambitious lawyers looking to establish a leadership position in their markets should have awards as powerful proof-points.  If you don't have some, you need to get them!


 It is easy to rationalise-away the importance of awards.  Perhaps you say "They only go to big law firms"; or  maybe "there's someone on the judging panel who won't like us", or "our clients won't want us to enter"; "we don't want to steal the limelight from our clients", etc etc.

The reality is big firms put a lot of effort into winning awards.  For instance for the recent Management Consultancies Association awards professional services giant Deloitte has 17 entries shortlisted.  The big law firms too put enormous effort into winning lots of awards (and for their legal directory entries too... but that is a subject for another blog!).

Winning awards helps law firms grow

Why the effort, well the benefits of winning an awards (or even getting shortlisted) include:

- the publicity as a leading law firmAwards help law firms grow

- it is a huge proof point and reassurance to clients and prospects alike

- helps attract candidates

- positions you as a leader, ahead of your competitors, and the "safe choice" in your area of expertise

- it gives a huge boost to your team (and indeed for your client) for the project getting such recognition

Of course, the important thing to remember is that awards don't necessarily go to the best project... they go to the best entry.  So to win awards you need to have done good work and a great entry.

For winning awards, important things to bear in mind include:

  • systematically track awards (so you don't miss the entry deadlines, which are invariably many months in advance of the actual announcement).
  • start work on the entry well in advance and allow plenty of time should projects or anything else overtake you
  • read the entry requirements really, really closely and make sure you meet both the spirit and letter of them
  • study previous winners
  • "facts talk, bullshit walks" - lots of specifics and proof points.  Awards nowadays particularly want proof about the benefits to clients... data, not just assertion
  • Write it in plain clear English (putting in lots of jargon and complex sentances won't impress judges who have to plough through dozens of entries).  Make their life easier, and increase your chances, by having it well written and carefully proof-read, ideally by a professional sub-editor
  • don't just think of The Lawyer awards.  Lots of industry associations, local business groups and trade papers have awards, and don't forget the FT's Innovative Lawyers awards too.  Look out for these and enter them too.

Good luck !

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What are your experiences, good or bad, with awards entires and are there other tips you have?  If so, please do share them below.

Topics: Awards

Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Written by Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Director of Public Relations agency Kelso Consulting. We specialise in working with B2B tech companies, management consultants, financial and professional firms to help them build business-winning reputations. We do this through award-winning PR skills and a proven approach to creating high-impact thought leadership campaigns. I am the author of The Thought Leadership Manual: