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02 March 2020

Submission gold: top tips!

Top tips for those entering the Wales Legal Awards 2020.

If you’re reading this you’re already thinking about entering a nomination (or more) for the Wales Legal Awards 2020. Read on for a handy guide for legal businesses preparing to enter this year’s awards.

Drafting award submissions can be tedious, challenging and time consuming! However, it’s well worth the effort as it’s a great opportunity to showcase your achievements, gain recognition and promote your brand by telling your story. It’s also a great way to showcase the incredible talent and work of legal professionals in Wales.

Award wins and shortlistings (yes, a shortlisting has value, embrace them…) can be used to launch your brand onto a new or higher platform, attract new clients and new talent, and they could open doors to new partnerships or joint ventures – assuming you apply for a credible, relevant and meaningful awards programme.

Start by working out: if a) the award or a shortlisting would mean something to your clients, b) it attracts other businesses you aspire to be pitted against and c) has a rich and engaging awards communication platform and popular awards ceremony.

Here are some top tips to help you write a great submission for an award application:

  • Allocate time

Time is essential to the success of your award submission. Give yourself a couple of weeks prior to the submission deadline so you don’t have to rush your responses. Often you will need to gather growth data and you’ll always need to evidence your statements. This might require testimonials so better for you to gather those in advance to ensure they relate to the submission points. If you miss the due date, you’ve missed the opportunity

  • Can you evidence excellence?

This might seem obvious but judges are always disappointed to see a weak submission from an excellent firm or outstanding individual because the author has failed to check the criteria and evidence the nominee’s ability to meet / exceed it.

Think about what you are being asked to evidence, provide clear statements, and back each one up. Look at the judging panel; what do you know about these individuals, their own professional experiences and the things they will classify as ‘outstanding’ if you have the evidence and success data to back up your claims?

Have you had a difficult time getting something to market? Be honest. Talk about the challenges and how you overcame them, how your service or product or brand has been embraced (again, evidence this) and why you think your efforts set precedence.

The judges won’t know how great you are until you tell them. You really should explain why you deserve to win the award in all of your answers.

  • Be concise – even if there isn’t a word limit

Your answers should be succinct, well-phrased and provide the most important information to help you win the award. Don’t go for the bare minimum though. An important tip is to go back to the nomination draft after a break from it – and get someone else to read through the criteria and your entry. This is why it’s essential to give yourself enough time to draft the nomination.

  • Get ready to meet the judges

We interview every single shortlisted candidate for the awards. We encourage representatives from across the shortlisted team / firm to join us for a short interview with our judges – and it’ well worth the investment! It’s informal and a great opportunity to showcase the sparkle in your team. However, that does mean it’s essential for those attending the interview to have had some input into the written nomination (or at least know what’s been drafted…) and ensure it’s truly reflective of your work.

The judges really value this stage as they get to delve a little deeper into the culture, passion and vision of the team, its work and outcomes for clients. How does this help you? Those who win an award on the night of the 11th September 2020 know their entry and work has been seriously considered and ranked as the best in Wales, against a strong shortlist. It’s also great PR fodder; that you pitched to our esteemed judging panel – and won!

  • Revel in your success!

Remind yourself why you’re entering these awards. If it’s to build profile or be platformed alongside industry leaders, then enjoy a shortlisting if you get one! You have achieved your goal and have something to work towards next year.

If you win, remember to communicate to clients that your peers and industry professionals (with a strong appraisal of excellence in the sector) picked your team out as industry leaders in Wales. The interview process ensures that individuals really have the chance to sell the team / themselves and we hope it reflects how seriously we take the judging process.

If you don’t appear on our shortlist, don’t be put off – keep building on your successes. We’ll be back in 2021 to help you celebrate!

Want to know more? View our FAQs here. You can view the profiles of our independent panel of judges here.

Click here to nominate a team or individual today – and GOOD LUCK! 


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