services ( 26 percent), poor
public perception ( 25 percent),
and too many attorneys ( 23 percent).
In a third related question, members were asked to identify the issues
they believe are most important for the Bar
to address. The most frequent responses
included being more responsive to sole practitioners and small law firms ( 31 percent),
efforts to increase professionalism ( 30
percent), working to preserve judicial
independence ( 29 percent), working
to improve public perception of the
profession ( 25 percent), and technology training ( 22 percent).
Another question added to the survey this year
focused on members’ plans in the next five years,
asking whether attorneys intended to retire, leave
the profession or make other changes in their careers.
Forty percent of the members survyed indicated that
they expect to make
some kind of change in
that time period. Nearly
a quarter of respondents
( 23 percent) said they plan to
leave the profession either through
retirement ( 16 percent) or by working
but leaving the practice of law ( 7 percent).
Another nine percent plan to change the
A survey of State Bar of Arizona
members conducted in June found that
high stress and work–life balance are the
two most signficant personal challenges that
members face in their work as attorneys.
Among respondents to the survey, 29 per-
cent said that high stress was a concern,
while 27 percent cited the difficulties of
balancing work and family life. Other key
challenges included keeping up with new
developments in the law and time manage-
ment ( 21 percent each) and keeping up with
technology ( 19 percent).
The question about personal challenges
was new to the survey this year. Members
also were asked for the first time about what
they see as the most significant challenges
facing the legal profession. Respondents
most often cited a lack of ethics and professionalism ( 27 percent), difficult economic
times ( 27 percent), the affordability of legal
BY BRUCE D. MERRILL
& TARA A. BLANC
The 2014 SBA member survey was conducted by BRUCE MERRILL,
Ph.D., an expert in public opinion research and professor emeritus in
the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at
Arizona State University, and TARA BLANC, Ph.D., an assistant teaching professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of
California and an expert in survey research.