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Research Report: Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas
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Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas  ( 2006 )  Cite this report

Ch 6. Satisfaction with the assistance received for legal events



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Level of satisfaction with assistance


As noted in Chapter 1, there is no consensus about the definition or measurement of the concept of satisfaction. In the present study, participants were simply asked to report their level of satisfaction with the assistance they received from their sole or most useful adviser by choosing between three alternatives: ‘satisfied’, ‘neither satisfied nor dissatisfied’ and ‘dissatisfied’.

As shown in Figure 6.1, participants reported being satisfied with the assistance they received from their sole or most useful adviser in over three-quarters (78.7%) of the legal events where help was sought. They reported being dissatisfied with the assistance they received from the sole or most useful adviser in 13.4 per cent of the events.

Figure 6.1: Satisfaction with assistance from sole or most useful adviser, all six LGAs, 2003

Notes: N=1307 events. Information on satisfaction with the assistance received from the sole or most useful adviser was missing for 189 of the 1496 events where help was sought.

Table 6.1 presents the level of satisfaction with the assistance received from the sole or most useful adviser broken down by the type of adviser. A chi-square test was conducted to examine whether this relationship was significant.1 Satisfaction with the assistance received varied significantly according to the type of adviser used. The highest rates of satisfaction with the assistance received were reported by participants whose sole or most useful adviser was a personal contact who was a lawyer (92.6%) or another personal contact (92.2%). The lowest rates were reported for government sources (61.4%) and for some types of advisers falling within the ‘other’ category, namely companies/businesses/banks (55.3%) and employers (60.0%). Participants reported that they were satisfied with the help they received for four-fifths of the events where their sole or most useful adviser was a traditional legal adviser such as a private lawyer or a local court.2

It is important to note, however, that participants tended to choose different types of advisers for different types of events (see Table 5.4), and that some events are apparently slower or more difficult to resolve (see Figure 7.2). Thus, the apparent greater satisfaction with the assistance received from some types of advisers may reflect the nature of the legal events for which they provided assistance.

Table 6.1: Satisfaction with assistance from sole or most useful adviser by type of adviser, all six LGAs, 2003

Type of adviser
Satisfied
% of events
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
% of events
Dissatisfied
% of events
No. of
% of events
  LEGAL ADVISER
Traditional legal:
80.7
7.4
11.9
135
Private solicitor/barrister
82.4
6.9
10.8
102
Local courta
81.3
6.3
12.5
16
Legal Aid NSWa
63.6
9.1
27.3
11
LawAccess NSW
-
-
-
2
Aboriginal legal services
-
-
-
1
CLCs
-
-
-
3
Laywer friend/relative
92.6
6.2
1.2
81
Published:
88.9
4.8
6.3
63
Internet
87.7
5.3
7
57
Self-help source
-
-
-
6
  NON-LEGAL ADVISER
Other friend/relative
92.2
6.3
1.6
128
Government:
61.4
13.5
25.1
215
Government organisation
61.3
13.7
25
168
Local council
57.9
15.8
26.3
38
Member of parliament
-
-
-
9
Police/complaint handling:
76.3
5.3
18.4
38
Police
76.5
5.9
17.6
34
Industry complaint handling bodyb
-
-
-
4
Other:
78.9
7.2
13.9
639
Other professionalc
84.6
6.6
8.8
272
School/school counsellor/teacher
70.7
8.6
20.7
58
Non-legal community group
82.1
12.8
5.1
39
Private agency/organisationd
78.7
8.5
12.8
47
Company/business/bank
55.3
2.1
42.6
47
Insurance company/broker
89.8
0
10.2
59
Trade union/professional body
80.9
11.8
7.4
68
Library
-
-
-
2
Employer
60
11.1
28.9
45
Other tribunal
-
-
-
2
Total
78.8
7.9
13.3
1299
a Due to small numbers, the percentages may be unreliable.
b Includes Banking Ombudsman, Insurance Complaints Scheme.
c Includes doctor, accountant, psychologist, counsellor, etc.
d Includes debt collection agency, employment agency, real estate agent.

Notes: The type of adviser used was not specified or was unclassified for eight of the 1307 events where participants provided information on satisfaction with assistance. Percentages have been omitted where the number of events for a given adviser is 10 or fewer because they may be unreliable.

x2=72.88, df=12, p=0.000. So that there were sufficient numbers in each cell for the chi-square test, the test was based on the grouped categories of adviser (i.e. traditional legal, lawyer friend/relative, published, other friend/relative, government, police/complaint handling, other) rather than on individual types of adviser (i.e. private solicitor/barrister, local court, Legal Aid NSW, etc).



So that there were sufficient numbers in each cell for the chi-square test, the test was based on the grouped categories of adviser (i.e. traditional legal, lawyer friend/relative, published, other friend/relative, government, police/complaint handling, other) rather than on individual types of adviser (i.e. private solicitor/barrister, local court, Legal Aid NSW, etc).
The percentages for local courts and Legal Aid NSW are based on fewer than 20 events and could be unreliable.

 So that there were sufficient numbers in each cell for the chi-square test, the test was based on the grouped categories of adviser (i.e. traditional legal, lawyer friend/relative, published, other friend/relative, government, police/complaint handling, other) rather than on individual types of adviser (i.e. private solicitor/barrister, local court, Legal Aid NSW, etc).
 The percentages for local courts and Legal Aid NSW are based on fewer than 20 events and could be unreliable.


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Coumarelos, C, Wei , Z & Zhou, AH 2006, Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney