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Causes of Client Dissatisfaction

Submitted by Clark Cunningham on Thu, 07-15-2010
Long title
Class Exercise on What Clients Want from Their Lawyers
Teacher(s)/ Author(s)
Cunningham, Clark D.
Teacher(s)'/ Author(s)' contact information
W. Lee Burge Professor of Law & Ethics
Georgia State University College of Law
United States
This is an easily administered class exercise that builds on the empirical research conducted by Hillary Sommerlad for the Law Society of England & Wales on what clients in the north of England value in the solicitors they have used. See Hilary Sommerlad, English Perspectives on Quality: The Client-Led Model of Quality – A Third Way?, 33 University of British Columbia Law Review 491 (2000).
Here are sample instructions to the student:
What Clients Want: Pass/Fail Assignment
Due: _______________ using on-line report form. Bring a copy of your own interview notes to class.
Find a person you know fairly well who is not a lawyer (such as a family member or neighbor) who has used a lawyer in the past and was dissatisfied in some respect. You are required to contact up to three people for this project. When you find someone who has been dissatisfied in some respect with a lawyer in the past, ask simply: "Was there any particular reason why you were dissatisfied?" Record the following information which you will then report using the on-line survey link below.
1. Apparent age of person interviewed: ___Younger than 20 __20-30 __31-40 __ 41-50 __ 51-60 __ 61-70 __ Older than 70
2. Type of case: __ Divorce ___ Other Family ___Residential Sale/Purchase __ Wills&Estates ___ Traffic ___ Criminal (non-traffic) Personal Injury ____ Business___ Other (describe: __________________)
3. Why the person was dissatisfied. (Please do not report here any information that could identify the person interviewed or the lawyer.)
Print this web page or have it in front of you for reference when you conduct the interview.When you have completed the interview, use the following link to report the results. Your on-line report is completely anonymous, including to the instructor.
You will see that after you report your own results that you will be taken to a web page where you can view all the interview reports submitted to date by you and your classmates.After completing the on-line form, send the instructor an email confirming that you have completed the assignment. If you have not been able to find a person who has been dissatisfied with a lawyer after three attempts, you may satisfy this assignment by certifying in your email that you have contacted three people.
A sample of the survey used is attached. The sample survey is active on and anyone can experiment with filling it out with fictional data to see how it works by going to: is a free resource for collecting survey data on-line and is easily used.
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