Maybe a solicitor needs to know that sort of thing but I don't: user perspectives on the utility of legal self-help resources

Lawler, Merran and Giddings, Jeff and Robertson, Michael (2009) Maybe a solicitor needs to know that sort of thing but I don't: user perspectives on the utility of legal self-help resources. In: Reaching further: innovation, access and quality in legal services. Stationery Office, London, United Kingdom, pp. 26-46. ISBN 978-0117067240


Drawing upon research supported by the Australian Research Council, this paper explores the changing landscape of legal self-help in Australia and the emergence of the private for-profit provider as a major player in the development and dissemination of legal self-help materials. Initial findings from the research, which explores the experiences of self helpers in both litigious and non litigious settings, suggests that private service providers may be increasingly adept at producing self-help materials that meet the needs of certain users. We put forward the argument that one of the reasons for this is that private providers are not necessarily focused on the empowerment of the legal citizen. As a result, they are able to develop self-help legal resources that focus on the bare essentials the legal consumer needs to know or work through in order to undertake legal tasks. The utility of this stripped back approach to the development of self-help resources appears best suited to process or transaction-based legal work where the circumstances do not require the self-helper to exercise any significant degree of contextual judgement.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher's copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Law
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2010 08:00
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2016 02:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: citizens; access to legal services; self-help materials and resources; managing legal transactions without lawyers
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180102 Access to Justice
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified

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