Section Survey Says...

By Tracy Schorn

July 20, 2016

The results are in from the Sections Member Feedback Survey. Last fall the D.C. Bar surveyed Sections members to identify how the Bar can better respond to member needs and offer more value to its membership. Here are the findings:

What was the biggest takeaway from the survey?

The most important finding was that our members value strong content. That, rather than cost of membership, seems to be the principal driver in the decision about whether or not to affiliate with a section.

Will the ways in which members access content change?

Our members want flexibility in the way they access content. Forty percent told us that they prefer to attend programs in person, at the D.C. Bar. But 60 percent said they wanted other options. They want us to do programs off-site in a variety of locations. They want to be able to see live Webinars from their desktop, without the expense in time and money of live attendance. They want to be able to access past programs, at their convenience.

They also want variety in format. Seminars and panels are one sort, but receptions that offer networking opportunities and Bench/Bar conferences are also of interest to members. And content is not just programming—publications and interactive communications are on the list of membership benefits they seek.

What were the reasons people cited for membership within a D.C. Bar section?

The top three were:

  • Access to continuing professional development
  • Availability of experts
  • Networking opportunities

What was the most significant personal challenge to members?

Work–life balance was cited by 46 percent of respondents as the greatest challenge. One way the D.C. Bar is responding to this stressor is with greater flexibility in our programming attendance options, by offering remote attendance options and live sessions at varying times of the day (breakfast, lunch, and evening sessions).

Any surprising results?

No. Fortunately, most people reported satisfaction with their membership and their degree of involvement, but we're always striving to improve the experience for them with great content and events. It is a priority for us to provide value to the member.

Working from what you learned, what's new going forward?

In the upcoming year, the sections will focus on our strengths, among them the interactivity we can offer with leading advocates, subject-matter experts, government officials, and other thought leaders. We will be exploring ways to continually engage the member and be a valued resource in the community.