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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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Factors related to satisfaction with assistance


A mixed-effects logistic regression was conducted to determine the significant, independent predictors of reporting satisfaction with the assistance received for legal events. This regression was based on events where participants provided information on their satisfaction with the assistance from the sole or most useful adviser.3 In the regression, satisfaction with the assistance received was a binary variable such that events where the individual was satisfied were contrasted with all other events.4 Potential predictor variables examined in the regression were the sociodemographic variables, the type of legal event, the recency of the legal event and whether the event had been resolved.5

A summary of the regression results is provided in Table 6.2, while the full results are presented in Appendix Table C30. Only two of the variables examined, namely the type of legal event and the resolution status of the event, were significant predictors of satisfaction with the assistance received from the sole or most useful adviser. The results of the regression are described more fully below, with reference to the relevant descriptive statistics.

Table 6.2: Summary of mixed-effects binary logistic regression for satisfaction with assistance

SIGNIFICANT VARIABLES
VariableComparison
Odds ratioa
Legal event groupbCivil
Accident/injury versus average
2
Business versus average
ns
Consumer versus average
ns
Credit/debt versus average
ns
Education versus average
ns
Employment versus average
ns
Government versus average
ns
Health versus average
ns
Housing versus average
ns
Human rights versus average
ns
Wills/estates versus average
5.4
Criminal
Domestic violence versus average
ns
General crime versus average
ns
Traffic offences versus average
0.1
Family
Family versus average
ns
Resolution statusBeing resolved versus resolved
ns
Unresolved versus resolved
0.2
NON-SIGNIFICANT VARIABLES:Gender, age, Indigenous status, country of birth, disability status, personal income, education level, recency of event
a An odds ratio greater than 1.0 indicates the first category in the comparison had higher odds than the second.
An odds ratio less than 1.0 indicates the first category in the comparison hadlower odds than the second.
b Each legal event group was compared to the average effect for all legal eventgroups (rather than to any specific legal event group).

Notes: N=1033 events and 698 participants. Data on one or more potential predictor variables were missing for 274 events where information was provided on satisfaction with assistance.
‘ns’ indicates the odds ratio was not statistically significant, that is, the odds for the first category in the comparison were not statistically different from the odds for the second (even though the overall variable was significant).

Sociodemographic factors

Table 6.3 presents the percentage of participants who were satisfied with the assistance they received from the sole or most useful adviser broken down by each sociodemographic characteristic. According to the regression, satisfaction with the assistance received was not significantly related to any of the sociodemographic characteristics of participants that were examined (see Table 6.2).

Table 6.3: Satisfaction with assistance from sole or most useful adviser by each sociodemographic factor, all six LGAs, 2003

Sociodemographic factor
Satisfied % of events
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied % of events
Dissatisfied % of events
No. of events
GenderFemale
77.7
9
13.3
656
Male
79.7
6.8
13.5
651
Total
78.7
7.9
13.4
1307
Age (years)15–24
83.3
6.7
10
209
25–34
79
9.5
11.4
315
35–44
76.1
8.1
15.9
309
45–54
74.5
7.6
17.9
263
55–64
84
6.7
9.2
119
65+
82.4
6.6
11
91
Total
78.8
7.9
13.3
1306
Indigenous statusIndigenous
58.1
16.1
25.8
31
Non-Indigenous
79.8
7.6
12.6
1142
Total
79.2
7.8
13
1173
Country of birthEnglish speaking
78.2
8.3
13.5
1148
Non-English speaking
82.6
5.2
12.3
155
Total
78.7
7.9
13.4
1303
Disability statusDisability
74.3
8.4
17.3
335
No disability
80.4
7.6
12
969
Total
78.8
7.8
13.3
1304
Personal income0–199
74.6
9.9
15.5
213
($/week)200–499
79.8
7.2
13
401
500–999
77.9
8.7
13.4
448
1000+
83.6
5
11.3
159
Total
78.7
7.9
13.3
1221
Education levelDidn’t finish/at school
78.2
6.9
14.9
101
Year 10/equivalent
76
7.3
16.7
288
Year 12/equivalent
80.5
8.1
11.4
272
Certificate/diploma
77.4
7.9
14.7
279
University degree
80.7
8.5
10.7
363
Total
78.7
7.9
13.4
1303
Note: Where the total for a given sociodemographic factor is less than 1307, data were missing on that factor.

Type of legal event

According to the regression, satisfaction with the assistance received for an event was related to the type of legal event. In particular, the odds of satisfaction with assistance were higher than average for accident/injury and wills/estates events, but lower than average for events related to traffic offences (see Table 6.2). Figure 6.2 shows that participants were satisfied with the assistance received from the sole or most useful adviser for 94.2 per cent of wills/estates events and 88.5 per cent of accident/injury events, but only half of the events related to traffic offences.6

Figure 6.2: Satisfaction with assistance from sole or most useful adviser by legal event group, all six LGAs, 2003


Notes: N=1304 events. Three unclassified events were excluded.

Recency of legal event

Table 6.4 presents the percentage of participants who were satisfied with the assistance received for their legal events from the sole or most useful adviser cross-tabulated by the recency of events. This relationship was not significant in the regression (see Table 6.2).

Table 6.4: Satisfaction with assistance from sole or most useful adviser by recency of legal events, all six LGAs, 2003

Recency of event: no. of months prior to survey
Satisfaction with assistance
No. of events
Satisfied % of events
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied % of events
Dissatisfied % of events
0–3
78.8
9
12.2
491
4–6
82.6
6.8
10.6
310
7–9
76
6.8
17.2
279
10–12
76
7
17
171
Total
78.7
7.7
13.6
1251
Note: 56 of the 1307 events with information on satisfaction with assistance had missing information on recency.

Resolution of legal event

Participants were asked if the legal events they had experienced over the previous 12 months had been resolved.7 The odds of satisfaction with the assistance received for a legal event were significantly lower for unresolved events than for resolved events (see Table 6.2). Figure 6.3 shows that participants were satisfied with the assistance received for 86.3 per cent of resolved events, 80.2 per cent of events that were in the process of being resolved, but only 61.6 per cent of unresolved events.

Figure 6.3: Satisfaction with assistance from sole or most useful adviser by resolution status of legal events, all six LGAs, 2003

Notes: N=1291 events. Information on resolution status was missing for 16 of the 1307 legal events where participants provided information on satisfaction with assistance.



A mixed-effects regression was appropriate because some individuals had more than one event for which information was available on satisfaction with the assistance received from the sole or most useful adviser.
That is, the satisfaction with assistance variable was recoded into two categories. One category included the events where participants were satisfied. The second category included both the events where participants were dissatisfied and the events where participants were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
Chapter 7 discusses the resolution of legal events in detail, presenting resolution rates and information on factors related to resolution.
Note that the percentage for traffic offences could be unreliable due to small numbers.
Chapter 7 discusses the resolution of legal events in detail, presenting resolution rates and information on factors related to resolution.

 A mixed-effects regression was appropriate because some individuals had more than one event for which information was available on satisfaction with the assistance received from the sole or most useful adviser.
 That is, the satisfaction with assistance variable was recoded into two categories. One category included the events where participants were satisfied. The second category included both the events where participants were dissatisfied and the events where participants were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
 Chapter 7 discusses the resolution of legal events in detail, presenting resolution rates and information on factors related to resolution.
 Note that the percentage for traffic offences could be unreliable due to small numbers.
 Chapter 7 discusses the resolution of legal events in detail, presenting resolution rates and information on factors related to resolution.


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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