Journal of Things We Like Lots
Select Page

These Australian developments, which Professor Fortney describes in the first two sections of Promoting Public Protection, provided the backdrop for her own empirical study that is described in detail in her longer article and that is summarized in her Promoting Public Protection article. Professor Fortney’s study explored the issue of why there had been such a dramatic reduction in client complaints among the Australian ILP firms that had used the self-assessment process. As Promoting Public Protection reports, Professor Fortney found that almost three quarters of the firms that conducted the self-assessment revised their law firm policies as a result of going through the self-assessment process. Her study also found that close to half of the respondents had adopted new systems, policies, and procedures as a result of the self-assessment procedure. She concluded that

“Quite simply, these findings point to the positive impact that the self-assessment process has in encouraging firms to examine and improve the firms’ management systems, training, and ethical infrastructure. Interestingly, with respect to most steps taken by the firms, there was no significant difference related to firm size and steps taken.”

Professor Fortney’s article included the table that is reproduced below that shows the impact of the self-assessment process:

Table 1

Steps Taken by Firms in Connection with the First Completion of the Self‐Assessment Process

Reviewed firm policies/procedures relating to the delivery of legal services84%
Revised firm systems, policies, or procedures71%
Adopted new systems, policies, or procedures47%
Strengthened firm management42%
Devoted more attention to ethics initiatives29%
Implemented more training for firm personnel27%
Sought guidance from the Legal Services Commissioner/another person/organization13%
Hired consultant to assist in developing policies and procedures06%
Download PDF