Why I Hope Legal Directories Don't Die

I totally missed the opportunity to chime in this week's Elephant Post and rather than comment on everyone else's comments, I thought - What would Greg do? The answer is axiomatic - blog about it. And so I am. From a competitive intelligence perspective, I hope legal directories never die, in print or online. But I do like the print editions there is certain gravitas that comes from seeing the best of the profession wrapped in nicely bound shiny book. But maybe that's just me. In any event, the directories for me, are a treasure trove of information. Aside from being a terrific mechanism from which to source laterals (as mentioned in the Elephant posts), you can also source client relationships such as who acts for whom in what city, state/province, and most importantly in a given practice or industry. As my firm continues to grow internationally, legal directories are great source of general market intelligence as well. Directories describe the types of deals being done, by whom, for whom, with all kinds of additional details. All that's left to do is bring some CI analysis to the party. Online versions make this even easier. I actually use directories so often, that I recently found myself looking for certain international directories and being upset when I came up empty handed. There are the pay-for-play vanity press type directories that are generally the domain (or pain) of Marketing Departments but to the discerning to the CI practitioner, there is value in assessing a firm's strategy to participate (or not) in those as well. Directories make doing my job easy and despite the amount of work and questionable ROI (another post for another time), you can learn so much about a firm or market from them. I could go on, but I think you get my point. When you need them, legal directories are like neatly wrapped presents, just asking to be opened and enjoyed and I hope they live along and happy life.

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