Savvy Surveys: Pre-testing the Draft Survey

Before you unleash your survey into the wild, delay long enough to allow at least one thoughtful person to attack the draft survey, as if he or she were an idiot. More specifically, ask a lawyer (or someone from the group to be surveyed) to review your survey work who is a peer or above so that they are not reluctant to criticize, ask tough questions, disagree, or find fault.

Savvy Surveys: Demographic Demons

When writing about online survey construction and analysis, I use the term “demographics” to describe the data collected about the person or organization that is responding. Not the insightful and new information that is aimed for, such as attitudes, rankings, percentage of agreement, and open text, but descriptive facts about the respondent. Demographic data include title, office location, education, years of experience, and gender, for individuals and revenue, employees, patents, headquarters country, and offices for organizations.

Savvy Surveys: The Invitational Email

Once you have figured out whom to invite for a survey of your law firm, law department, or organization, you need to let them know the survey is open and waiting, and that you would sincerely like them to take it. Nearly every sponsor does so by sending an invitational email. They might have to turn to a mailing list all ready to deploy (“All-Department”), or they might have to use bulk-mailing software such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. Ideally, several readers will have critiqued the draft email for how well it frames and energizes the survey project.

Savvy Surveys: Anonymous responses

When you release an online survey to your law firm, law department, or legal service providers (outside counsel, vendors, consultants), what are the drawbacks if the responses you get back are anonymous? By “anonymous” I mean you cannot identify which member of your firm, department, or law-related vendor you invited to take part submitted which response. You did not ask them for their name, their email address, their organization, or another piece of identifying information, so the response is incognito.

So, what’s the problem?

Savvy Surveys: Questions Required to be Answered

Many surveys by law firms or law departments include one or more questions that must be answered. Why? Primarily, the sponsor believes that certain background information will play a crucial role in their analysis of the data, so they insist on respondents providing that information. “What is your level?“ “What is your practice department?”