Members of the Massachusetts Bar,

 

When you next log in to the Board of Bar Overseers’ website in order to complete or renew your attorney registration, you will see that a new component has been added to the registration process.  Starting December 1, 2020, all attorneys submitting registration information to the BBO will be required to complete a demographic and law practice survey approved by the SJC with information about geographic location, practice area, racial identity, gender identity and other factors.  This survey is a critical step in understanding the makeup of the Massachusetts bar, and its sole purpose is to aid the SJC Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being (the “Standing Committee”) in developing programs, initiatives, policy recommendations, and systemic changes to the profession aimed at supporting attorneys and increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the Massachusetts legal profession.

 

As a few key facts about the survey:

 

  • While completion of the survey is a mandatory part of the registration process, your responses will not be associated with your BBO Attorney accounts, and they will be de-identified to prevent your personal identity from being revealed.

  • SJC Rule 4:02 expressly provides that “[d]ata disclosed on the demographic and law practice survey shall be treated as confidential and used solely to develop services and programs to aid lawyers.” (Emphasis added).

  • While several of the questions on the survey include a “Prefer not to answer” response, we strongly encourage you to answer each question substantively.

    • Since the information collected from this survey will be de-identified, it cannot and will not be used against you in any way.

    • Further, getting as accurate an understanding of the makeup of the Massachusetts bar as possible is critical in order to enable the Standing Committee to fulfill its missions of (a) offering programs and services to help lawyers improve their professional and personal well-being, and (b) increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the Massachusetts legal profession.

 

For further information about this survey, please visit https://lawyerwellbeingma.org/demographics-and-law-practice-survey.

 

For further reading about the importance of research and metrics to improve diversity, please read the Massachusetts Bar Association’s “Comment on Proposed Amendments to SJC Rule 4:02”.

 

Finally, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Standing Committee at demographic-survey@lawyerwellbeingma.org.