Caroline Roddis discusses the Law Society Insights community and explains how you can get involved.
The Law Society is powered by its members, with a structure - everything from its Council members to the network of regional managers - designed to incorporate members' needs and views into decisions.
As a membership organisation we always want to find out more so that we can better represent, promote and support our members: what challenges have arisen? Which groups are being left out? What's not working?
With 130,000 members, it's not possible to collect this information from everyone face-to-face, so in January 2014 we launched the Law Society Insights online community. This website offers a way for solicitors to share their views quickly and easily, no matter where they are.
Since it was started, the Insights community has grown to include over 1,300 Law Society members who regularly contribute opinions and help shape everything from consultation responses to Law Society products and services.
As with everything we do, Insights is regularly reviewed and late last year we looked at ways to improve the website. This was based on what our community told us they liked and disliked, as well as how Insights could better fit into their everyday lives and career aspirations.
We have recently relaunched the website - if you're already a member you should have received an email about how to use it. The site is now mobile and tablet friendly and we hope this will encourage more members to get involved. For the best experience, we recommend that you view the website using Chrome or Firefox.
As well as being easier to use, the website also offers a new-style research programme. This programme is more interactive, more holistic and more enjoyable for members. Surveys will be more targeted, topics will be more relevant and it will be easier to see how survey results are used. Opinions will also be canvassed in more interesting and interactive ways.
We are very proud of the research we've done with the community since 2014 and grateful to all the members who have given up their time to participate.
Some of the research highlights include:
• The career satisfaction survey. This found that members are mostly happy with their careers and unlikely to change jobs in the immediate future. It did, however, highlight a number of challenges which we hope employers took on board by reading our report (PDF).
• Our Sections and Divisions review. In 2014 members gave us detailed and honest feedback that allowed the Law Society Communities team to make key changes to their offering.
• Court fees research. This Insights survey allowed us to collect valuable data that was used in our response to the government's July 2015 consultation on proposals to increase court and tribunal fees.
• And a special mention for... the Latin Law quiz! While not exactly a serious piece of research, it did prove that members enjoy the occasional chance to procrastinate with a brainteaser. We were very impressed by respondents' grasp of the language - they came, they responded, they conquered!
Help shape the profession
Joining Insights allows you to give your feedback on Law Society work, share your views on wider issues and ensure that we have a full understanding of our members. Insights surveys are issued monthly, but you can participate as often as you would like. Surveys usually take 5-10 minutes to complete. Community members will receive the research results within weeks and have exclusive access to reports and market intelligence.
Join the Insights community
Find out more about the research conducted by the Law Society