Reader Survey Results

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dear Readers:

As  promised, we want to provide the highlights from our recent reader survey.  Since my partner, Janet Stanton, knows much more about the world o’ research than most folks, I’ll turn it over to her to provide the report.  Suffice to say we are deeply grateful and humbled, not only for the numbers who responded, but much more so for the thought that went into so many of your responses.  You’ll see many of the issues you raised in upcoming articles.

p.s.  Subsequently, we’ll announce the winner of the $200 gift check.  Stay tuned.

Thanks again for providing such rich fodder – and more so for your active participation in the Adam Smith, Esq. readership community.

Take it away, Janet.


Thanks, Bruce.

As Bruce so rightly states, we were astonished by the level of engagement in the site as evinced by the sheer number of thoughtful and carefully considered responses.

Before we get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some Research 101 out of the way.

The purpose of the online survey was to help us better understand you and your interests including what you would like to get out of Adam Smith, Esq. We asked (a) what you view as the most pressing/frustrating strategic, financial, or business issue facing you or your firm; and (b) what you would like us to write more, or less, about.  All of which you did in spades.

A robust 181 readers completed the survey.

Let’s look at what you told us.

Who are you?

According to the results:

  • Over ¼ (28%) of you are partners.  Within that, 8% are Managing Partners/Chairs/Executive Committee members.
  • One-fifth (21%) are Associates.
  • C-Suite (ED, COO, CFO, CMO and other “C”s) represents 9% of readers.
  • 5% come from corporate counsel’s offices.
  • The remainder comprised of others at law firms (I refuse to cede to the insulting phrase “non-lawyer”), law students/professors, consultants and the media.
  • Your average age is 42 and average household income is US$327,400
  • 81% are male and 19% female. Frankly, we’re mystified as to why readership would skew so strongly male.  Any thoughts?

Where do you work?

  • 45% work at AmLaw 200 firms, nearly ½ of these at AmLaw 50 firms
  • 10% work outside the US, mostly in London, but we also heard from New Delhi, Vilnius, Lithuania, and even Kazakhstan.

Some lifestyle indicators

  • 36% of you have traveled internationally for pleasure in the past 12 months.
  • 8% of you collect art, old manuscripts, first editions and the like.
  • 13% of you have a wine collection.

Must say, we were a little disappointed that no one reported having fractional ownership in a private jet.  Maybe next time.

Most pressing issues for you and your firm….

Amazingly, nearly ¾ (72%) of you responded thoughtfully and candidly.  While there was a very wide range of comments, three areas stood out.

Many lamented that their firms were not adequately addressing the new realities of law land:

  • “Aligning our strategy to the realities of the current market and re-engineering our practices to improve quality and efficiency for our clients and our profitability.”
  • “Adjusting our hiring, staffing and promotion and compensation model to reflect the new reality of stagnant rates and decreased demand in our traditional markets.”
  • “Effectively diversifying from historic (now unprofitable practices) to more sophisticated and profitable ones.

The second major theme had to do with pricing:

  • “Client rate pressure.”
  •  “Inability to raise rates.”

In case you missed it – here’s Bruce’s Bloomberg interview on “Suicide Pricing.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply