Harrogate Law Society

Harrogate and District Law Society
Project Description
Like many community-type organisations, the Harrogate and District Law Society, which was formed at the end of World War One, had faced a significant disruption to their operations because of the Covid pandemic. With their lawyer membership primarily still working from home by November 2021, the President requested the assistance from the Crowd Wisdom Project. The President wanted to discover what the membership, of circa 100 lawyers, wanted from this prestigious society.
With all in-person events having been cancelled for nearly two years, this made it difficult for the lawyer members to interact, particularly with so many lawyers suffering from Zoom-fatigue.

Assisted by the Crowd Wisdom Project, the President of the Law Society seeded half of the statements, with ourselves suggesting the other half. We provided the moderation of the comments. The Polis survey was sent to the lawyer membership by email, by the President. The President’s email, containing the survey, also contained other information and attachments.

How this prestigious, century-old society of lawyers should work post-Covid
The above is what the page which the lawyers were sent via the link embedded in the President’s email. The ordering of the statement is semi-random, designed by Pol.is to generate a healthy, consensual conversation.

The Polis

You will see that the person who created the statement regarding the annual President’s Drinks is anonymous. In the same box, on the top right, the number of remaining statements to vote on is made clear. Voters do not need to answer all the questions for their votes to count.

Voters have three options: Agree, Disagree or Pass/Unsure. With so few questions, voters needed only one minute to quickly reply. There is no need to sign up to answer the survey, because the way we at the Crowd Wisdom Project is to deploy Polis anonymously. Polis deposits a cookie on the user’s device to ensure that the user can only vote once.

The Polis was open for one week. To distribute the Polis, the President sent the link to all members, totaling circa 100.

Deploying advanced statistics and machine learning created by the clever people at the Computation Democracy Project, Polis finds groups within groups, based on answers and statements, plotting them on a graph. The statements appear in a semi-random order. The more data is collated, the more useful the results.

The Outcome

This survey only received circa 10% take-up. We do not have permission to share the results. The ideas shared by the lawyers will inform the President’s future plans for this historic esteemed Law Society. The fact that the membership was asked for their views was in itself regarded as an intrinsic good.


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