|For immediate release||March 14, 2011|
Poll shows public’s perception of lawyers and Law Society is trending upward
Vancouver – A new province-wide poll shows a modest improvement in the public’s opinion of lawyers and the Law Society’s ability to regulate the profession.
Respondents were asked to rate lawyers on a number of criteria and also to rate the Society’s ability to perform some of its core functions.
“Despite the popularity of jokes about lawyers, this survey suggests the reality is that many people are satisfied with the work that lawyers do,” said Robyn Crisanti, manager of communications at the Society.
This is the most recent poll commissioned by the Law Society since the late 1990s to help assess the current perception of lawyers and the Society’s ability to regulate them.
“Gauging public perception helps keep the Society aware of any concerns the public may have that require further study or action, and to look for opportunities to improve the regulation of lawyers” stated Crisanti.
The independent telephone survey of 800 randomly-selected members of the public from across the province was conducted in November 2010 by NRG Research Group. Results are considered accurate plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. More information available in the highlights below.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
For further information or to arrange an interview contact:
Lawyers: Opinions trending upward
In 2010, respondents were asked to rate their overall impression of lawyers on a scale from 1 to10 where 10 is excellent and 1 is extremely poor. Nearly 28% of the respondents rated lawyers between 8 to 10, while 60% rated lawyers between 4 to 7 and only 12% chose 1 to 3.
In past surveys, respondents were also asked to rate lawyers on the same scale on several criteria.
Respondents who rated lawyers in the 8-10 range: 50% in 2010, 41% in 2004 and 46% in 1998
Respondents who rated lawyers in the 8-10 range: 38% in 2010, 24% in 2004 and 31% in 1998
Service to clients
Respondents who rated lawyers in the 8-10 range: 34% in 2010, 26% in 2004 and 32% in 1998
The Law Society: Opinions trending upwards
To evaluate public confidence in the ability of the Law Society to fulfill its mandate, respondents were asked to assess how confident they were in the Law Society’s ability to:
- Handle complaints about lawyers in a fair manner. In all three surveys, more than two-thirds of respondents expressed some confidence in the Law Society’s ability, with 66% saying they were somewhat or very confident in 2010
- Discipline lawyers who are in violation of standards and practices. In all three surveys, around 60% expressed some confidence in the Law Society’s ability, with just over 63% saying that they were somewhat or very confident in 2010.
Read the 2010 public survey.
Read past surveys.