You Responded; We Listened
I am writing this column early on the morning of November 6, 2018 — election day in the United States, a day when millions will cast ballots for candidates and issues that will have significant impacts on the direction of the country. It’s also a day when journalists will be parsing reams of polling data to provide a deeper understanding of who voted and why. Those insights help us better understand what’s important to voters and play a critical role in shaping policy.
ALA has done its own polling recently, and the results of the biannual Member Needs Assessment Survey are in! We received a total of 1,084 responses for the United States and international surveys combined. Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts with us.
Some interesting highlights identified include:
- 87 percent of respondents say that employers find ALA provides value to their legal organizations with nearly 60 percent reporting ALA provides “good” or “excellent” value.
- 60 percent of respondents indicate their employer receives greater than $400 — roughly the cost of dues — in equivalent value through their membership.
- We saw a big bump in our “net promoter score,” from 53 in 2016 to 70 in 2018. The score measures member loyalty. It is measured by asking respondents how likely they are to recommend ALA to a friend or colleague. A score of more than 50 is considered “excellent” and above 70 is “world class.”
- The top three answers in descending order to the question, “Being a member of ALA...” were:
- Provides multifaceted networking opportunities.
- Provides me with the professional association to represent my vocation in the legal management industry.
- Provides relevant and useful educational opportunities.
We also asked several open-ended questions regarding the challenges you face in your roles, the skills you need to be successful, and the types of educational opportunities you’d like to see more of from ALA. Not surprisingly, one of the most frequently mentioned challenges was time management, along with people and change management, process improvement, profitability, technology and understanding trends in the legal industry. To get help in meeting these challenges, our members rely heavily on the ALA network, an invaluable community of experts.
Among the skills respondents wanted help with were leadership development, financial analysis, future planning, strategy, human resources and operations. Among the areas noted where ALA can provide more education and content were roundtables to find solutions to problems, deeper dives on complex issues, handling emerging issues, the future of law firms, performance improvement, strategy and process improvement.