Survey Says Part 1: Internal Legal Department Surveys

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on February 07, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If there's one thing about lawyers that we've learned as bloggers at FindLaw, it's that lawyers like surveys. And, that makes perfect sense; lawyers are curious and inquisitive by nature. We've covered surveys regarding legal department operations managers, law department compensation and corporate board communications.

Now, we're here to tell you to conduct a survey of your own -- an internal legal department survey. Yes, you have enough on your plate; that's why we're going to make it easy as possible and give you the who, what, why, when, and how of conducting internal legal department surveys (just not in that order).


An internal legal department survey is a study conducted, by the law department, to gauge the opinions of the attorneys working in the law department. Questions should focus on determining employee happiness and satisfaction, engagement, alignment, and efficiency, in order to determine how effectively the legal department feels it is doing its job.


Determining how the attorneys in the law department feel about how they work together will help to find weak spots in productivity, which once found, can be remedied. Just keeping your head in the sand is never good -- just ask Judge Posner.


The internal legal department survey should be presented to all of the staff of the law department at your company. A small group of attorneys selected by the GC could create the questions, oversee the process, and analyze and publicize the results.


We like the ring of an annual survey -- just don't call the first year the "First Annual" survey -- that's not a thing.


To get the most honest answers, an anonymous survey may be the best way to get responses that are worthwhile. Give people notice that a survey will be conducted, give people enough time to complete the survey, and give them a deadline. Another way to make sure you get the best information is to make participation in the survey mandatory.

Conducting an internal law department survey may at first glance seem like just adding more work, but it can be an invaluable tool for gauging the law department's weak, and strong, points. Once you have that information in hand, you know the areas that need improvement and you can begin to make the appropriate changes.

Does your legal department conduct internal surveys? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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