Often when members complete online surveys for KCBA, they don't hear back from us about what was learned. This isn't due to any secrecy about the results, but rather because various bar committees and staff have reviewed the information, acted on it and moved on to other projects, but have forgotten to report back to those who participated in the survey.
This month I'd like to correct that frequent oversight by reviewing the results of two recent surveys we conducted. The first was in early March when we sought feedback on questions related to the latest Judicial Officer Survey on courts of limited jurisdiction. The second was in late March where we asked questions related to the Breakfast With Champions fundraiser for pro bono and diversity.
Judicial Officer Survey
Internally we named the first effort a "survey on the survey" since it was designed to learn how attorneys who completed the quadrennial survey felt about the experience. KCBA had made some important changes to the survey in 2013 and our Judicial Officer Survey Committee was interested in not only the specific results regarding judicial performance, but also in getting feedback from participants about the survey itself.
We also were curious to learn more about why people chose not to take the judicial evaluation survey, even though it had been sent to them. A total of 339 attorneys completed our follow-up survey. It's worth noting that while 339 responses wouldn't meet a researcher's definition of statistical validity, those responses nonetheless give us an abundance of useful information.
Among the findings were that 75 percent of those responding to the Judicial Officer Survey evaluated five or fewer judges out of the more than 40 judges included. We learned that 63 percent of the participants were able to complete the questions in less than five minutes and that 78 percent completed the entire survey in no more than 30 minutes. Since I have often heard anecdotally from attorneys that they do not participate in our judicial officer surveys because they think it will take more time than they have available, sharing this average time commitment factoid at the start of future surveys should help increase our response rate.
Looking at what would motivate non-participants to give the process a try in the future, we offered several possible choices. I was surprised to learn that adding incentives (e.g., drawings for a Starbucks gift card or discounts on KCBA CLEs) was the most frequently selected idea non-participants cited to encourage their future participation. The next highest motivator would be to allow a longer period of time to complete the survey.
We can test these ideas during the next Judicial Officer Survey in the fall of 2015 when we review Superior Court judges and commissioners.
Breakfast With Champions
The March 19 fundraiser for the bar's pro bono and diversity programs drew more than 1,000 attorneys and judges, and raised record amounts to support those public, charitable programs. For the first time in recent memory, we took time in the weeks after the event to seek feedback from those who did and did not attend about what worked and what didn't - 340 people took the time to respond.
First, we were curious to know what motivates people to attend the event. We provided five possible reasons and survey takers could choose multiple answers. The most cited reason was that the attendee wanted to support these charitable programs, followed closely by being personally invited by a table captain. The choice of keynote speaker was cited only half as often as the other choices. While we plan to continue finding interesting speakers to inspire us at future events, it is interesting to know this isn't the most important reason people attend each year.
We also learned that the Breakfast becomes an annual tradition for those who attend. Only 20 percent of the respondents attended their first Breakfast this year, while 80 percent have attended multiple events. And while not quite in sync with that figure, only 1 percent of respondents said they would not attend again - 80 percent were definitely planning to come again and 19 percent were unsure). I also was very encouraged to learn that 82 percent of the attendees rated the overall event as very good or excellent.
It also was helpful to look at feedback from those who did not attend. The most cited reason was a scheduling conflict, followed by the cost of event admission ($50). Our Breakfast with Champions Committee will be analyzing this data in the months ahead and the many open-ended comments received so that it can consider any possible improvements to future events.
I hope this effort at sharing the results of recent KCBA surveys is interesting to you and inspires you to respond to future surveys we send out. Your input is always welcomed and valued in all that we do at the King County Bar Association.
Andrew Prazuch is KCBA's executive director. He can be reached by email (AndrewP@kcba.org) or phone (206-267-7061).