"Maybe a Solicitor Needs to Know That Sort of Thing But I Don't" - User Perspectives on the Utility of Legal Self-Help Resources
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Drawing upon research supported by the Australian Research Council, this chapter explores the changing landscape of legal self-help in Australia and the emergence of the private for-profit provider as a major player in the development and dissemination of legal self-help materials. Initial findings from the research, which explores the experiences of self-helpers in both litigious and non-litigious settings, suggest that private service providers may be increasingly adept at producing self-help materials which meet the needs of certain users. We posit that one of the reasons for this is that private providers are not necessarily focused on the empowerment of the legal citizen and, as a result are able to develop self-help legal resources which focus on the bare essentials a legal consumer needs to know or work through in order to undertake legal tasks. The utility of this stripped back approach to the development of self-help resources appears best suited to process or transaction-based legal work where the circumstances do not require the self-helper to exercise any significant degree of contextual judgment.
Reaching Further: Innovation, Access and Quality in Legal Services
Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified