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NCJ Number: 63845 Find in a Library
Title: LAWYERS AND THE COMMUNITY
Author(s): R TOMASIC
Corporate Author: Law Foundation of New South Wales
Australia

George Allen and Unwin Australia PTY, Ltd
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 331
Sponsoring Agency: Allen and Unwin
Winchester, MA 01890
George Allen and Unwin Australia PTY, Ltd
Hornsby, NSW 2077, Australia
Law Foundation of New South Wales
North Sydney, Australia
Sale Source: Allen and Unwin
8 Winchester Place
Winchester, MA 01890
United States of America
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: RESULTS ARE REPORTED FROM AN AUSTRALIAN STUDY OF PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD LEGAL SERVICES.
Abstract: DATA FOR THE STUDY WERE OBTAINED FROM A MAIL SURVEY OF A SAMPLE OF ABOUT 2,000 PERSONS SELECTED FROM THE POPULATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES IN 1975. FINDINGS SHOW A GENERAL PUBLIC DISSATISFACTION WITH LEGAL COMPLEXITY AND LEGAL LANGUAGE, PARTICULARLY AMONG LOWER-STATUS, NONPROPERTY-OWNING GROUPS. THOSE WHO RELY UPON LAWYERS TEND TO ACCEPT AN IDEALISTIC ATTITUDE TOWARD THE OPERATION OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM. BOTH USERS AND NONUSERS OF LAWYER'S SERVICES ARE DISPOSED TOWARD A SENSE OF POWERLESSNESS VIS-A-VIS THE LEGAL SYSTEM WITHOUT THE SERVICES OF A LAWYER. ON THE WHOLE, MOST USERS OF LAWYER SERVICES ARE SATISFIED WITH THE PRESENT STRUCTURE OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, NOTABLY ITS VIRTUAL MONOPOLY OVER CONVEYANCE WORK. PROPERTY OWNERSHIP AND LEGAL EXPERIENCE ARE KEY VARIABLES IN EXPLAINING ACCESS TO AND USE OF LAWYER SERVICES. UPPER-STATUS GROUPS COMPRISE THE LARGEST SINGLE GROUP OF USERS OF LEGAL SERVICES. LOWER-STATUS, NONPROPERTY OWNERS TEND TO FEEL THAT LAWYERS EXPLOIT THEM. WHILE THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL IGNORANCE ABOUT WHAT LAWYERS DO, MOST RESPONDENTS WOULD PREFER TO CONSULT A LEGAL SPECIALIST IN THE GIVEN PROBLEM AREA. THERE IS NO CLEAR DIVISION IN ATTITUDES AND EXPERIENCES OF UPPER-STATUS AND LOWER-STATUS CLIENTS REGARDING LAWYER FEES. LEGAL EXPERIENCE, PROPERTY OWNERSHIP, TYPE OF LEGAL PROBLEM, AND HAVING A REGULAR LAWYER APPEAR MORE IMPORTANT IN EXPLAINING WHY CLIENTS OBJECT TO OR ARE SATISFIED WITH FEES IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THERE IS AN OVERALL SATISFACTION WITH ATTORNEY SERVICES AMONG ALL GROUPS OF CLIENTS. THE APPENDIXES CONTAIN A DISCUSSION OF THE SURVEY METHODOLOGY, A SAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE, AND TABULAR DATA. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS INCLUDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Attorney client relations; Attorney competence; Australia; Legal fees; Public Attitudes/Opinion
Note: ONE OF THE LAW IN SOCIETY SERIES.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63845

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