Public survey

In November 2010, the Law Society commissioned a survey of the public to assess current perceptions of lawyers and the Law Society. This survey has been conducted several times before, beginning in 1998. Its purpose is to provide the Law Society with an assessment over time of public perceptions so that any trends in public opinion can, if needed, be further explored.

The most recent results show a modest but positive trend in the public’s perception of lawyers and the Law Society’s ability to regulate the profession.

“The survey is a good barometer of how the public perceives the profession, and it gives the Law Society some guidance on whether there is anything from a regulatory perspective we should or could be doing to address any public concerns,” said Adam Whitcombe, Chief Information Officer.

Respondents were asked to rate lawyers on criteria such as expertise, trustworthiness, client service, efficiency, value for money and commitment to public service. They were also asked to rate the Society’s ability to set standards, handle complaints and discipline lawyers.

“Despite the lawyer jokes, this survey suggests that many people are satisfied with the work that lawyers do,” said Robyn Crisanti, Manager of Communications.

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.

For the complete results,  see the News Release on the Law Society’s website. 

Here are some highlights from the survey

 

How confident are you in the Law Society’s ability to ...

Very confident

Somewhat confident

Not very confident

Not at all confident

Don’t know

permit lawyers to practise law?

31%

52%

6%

3%

8%

set the standards for how lawyers practise law?

27%

48%

13%

5%

7%

ensure that lawyers operate within ethical standards?

19%

53%

15%

5%

8%

ensure that the public is served by a highly competent legal profession?

18%

56%

15%

5%

6%

discipline lawyers who are in violation of standards and practice?

16%

47%

21%

8%

8%

handle complaints about lawyers in a fair manner?

14%

52%

19%

6%

8%

 

How would you rate lawyers in regard to ...

Scale of 1 to 10: 1 = extremely poor and 10 = excellent

(8 – 10)

(4 – 7)

(1 – 3)

Don’t know

expertise?

50%

43%

3%

4%

being respectful of clients?

44%

46%

7%

3%

trustworthiness?

38%

47%

11%

4%

acting in the best interests of clients?

36%

52%

9%

3%

service to clients?

34%

54%

8%

4%

efficiency?

29%

56%

11%

4%

your overall impression of lawyers?

28%

59%

12%

1%

giving good value for money?

16%

56%

24%

4%

commitment to public service?

15%

65%

13%

7%

 

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