New Zealand’s legal profession – at a cross-roads?
Leslie, Nicola K
What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? 'A good start!' New Zealand's legal profession is an easy scapegoat for public criticism. Yet barristers and solicitors are a tightly regulated profession. This paper aims to understand and analyse the current climate within the legal services market in New Zealand. Why is our legal profession under such attack? It seems ironic that a profession which aspires to high ideals could be the subject of such criticism. Yet we rarely consider why such high standards are demanded of a profession. Chapter One will discuss the concept of a profession, and show whether the legal profession in New Zealand can retain such a position. If there is to be any answer to disparaging remarks about lawyers, we must identify and resolve the criticisms of lawyers in New Zealand. Chapter Two will discuss the criticisms directed at barristers and solicitors, to understand why public confidence in our legal profession may be threatened. Ironically the legal profession is subject to a number of different controls. Parliament, the Courts, the profession's own representative bodies at both a national and local level and individual clients all impact on lawyers' practise. Chapter Three will discuss how each institution has responded to the criticisms made of lawyers. Chapter Four will assess any resulting concerns of the profession which remain problematic. This paper will review the legal profession in New Zealand. For all those who practise as barristers and solicitors this is your collective reputation at risk. It is a review with which all lawyers should be particularly concerned. [Introduction]
Degree Name: Bachelor of Laws with Honours
Degree Discipline: Faculty of Law
Research Type: Dissertation