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Observations about the profusion of surveys that invite law departments to respond

Many organizations want to survey law departments. In my recent gargantuan collection, I listed 72 of my posts during 2007 that drew on a survey of law departments, most of which surveys had been conducted that year (See my post of March 2, 2008.). Because some survey results deserved more than one post, I would estimate that I found approximately 45 different surveys.

At least 35 different organizations conducted those surveys – law firms, trade publications, vendors, consultants, most of which are service providers of one kind or another. They seek metrics to gain insights into their market, to help them sell more of their services or products, or to attract favorable publicity (See my post of Aug. 5, 2007: possible bias in surveys by interested parties.).

Nearly all the surveys I wrote about targeted US law departments. If the average survey had 100 respondents after a five-percent response rate, then on average 2,000 law departments received each survey. Actually, my guess would be that the average number of participants invited to submit data is much higher and the response rate somewhat lower (See my posts of April 9, 2005: very low participation rates in a survey by a software vendor; and April 9, 2005: 3.6% rate.).

Obviously there is much overlap; the general counsel of the Fortune 500 must receive dozens of survey requests every year. Nor do all the surveys go to the general counsel of the company, although most do.

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