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Survey Methodology

Hello Online, Goodbye Phone

Posted Oct 1, 2007 3:57 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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See related story: Pulse of the Legal Profession

This year marks the first time that the ABA surveyed Pulse of the Legal Profession participants online, and it marks the end of telephone queries.

The change saves money for the American Bar Association and time for respondents. But it also may result in more honest answers, says Laura L. Metzger, who directs the ABA's market research department.

"Techniques can make a difference in results," she says. "Merely the presence of a human body on the other end of the telephone can tend to make respondents say what they think the interviewer wants to hear."

Metzger couldn't say whether lawyers tend to prefer online surveys over those done by telephone. But she did mention that online queries tend to be more convenient. "And lawyers are extremely busy, so everything we can do to make it easy for them to respond is most appreciated."




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