Savvy Surveys: Recategorize Other Responses

Whenever your online survey has a multiple-choice question, you should include in your selections an “Other.” Customarily, it occupies the last selection in the otherwise alphabetized selections. Furthermore, whenever a law department, law firm or legal vendor sponsors a survey that has a question with an “Other” option, the question should be followed immediately by a text box that asks the respondent to elaborate on what they mean by “Other” (otherwise, the answer offers no information).

Surveys for Lawyers: First Email Reminder

When I help law firms, law departments and legal vendors conduct online surveys, they usually ask about the tempo of sending reminder emails to those invited to participate. In other words, after the **initial email* introduction with the survey link that you blast out to outside counsel, all the paralegals in the firm, the R&D clients above Manager, or whomever, how long do you wait to remind them that they should complete the survey?

Surveys for Lawyers: Partial Responses

One of the frustrations of conducting surveys on behalf of law firms, law departments or legal vendors arises from the partial responses that are occasionally returned. By partial response, I mean that the respondent has not answered a material number of the questions on the questionnaire or has plugged in for some questions obviously unconsidered answers, such as all “2’s” on 10 straight 1-10 evaluation questions. In my comments below I treat the two situations the same.

Surveys for Lawyers: Ask for Email Addresses

You should ask for the email address of the person responding to your survey on behalf of a law firm, law department or legal vendor. As to the order of that question, place it as one of the first questions because otherwise people who spend time slogging through the questionnaire might not want to find at the end that you want them to identify themselves, that they are not anonymous. [Whether you make the question a required question raises other issues beyond the scope of this section.]

Surveys for Lawyers: Currency Conversion

Some online surveys by law firms or law departments collect data that is in a currency other than US dollars. When a survey question asks for monetary data, as did the recent survey I conducted for a group of law firm professionals that asked for base and bonus data, the instructions to the question should specify that the data be entered in dollars. More specifically, the instructions should clearly explain the conversion factor and how the respondent should apply it, such as “Convert Canadian dollars at a rate of 1.3 per US dollar. Therefore, divide the Canadian amount by 1.3.” Each respondent then has the responsibility to enter the correct, recalculated US dollar amount.