Wednesday, April 01, 2009

U.K. Survey on Lawyer Trustworthiness

The news isn't all bad, but then again, it isn't so good, either:
Lawyers can draw some comfort from a survey this week showing that they are not quite the figures of mistrust or contempt that mythology would suggest.

The survey on trust in the professions found — no surprise here — that bankers are held in as low public esteem as estate agents and politicians, with journalists only marginally better regarded. But while these four were the least trusted, lawyers were more highly rated than any of them.

All of which will be good news for the Bar Standards Board, which commissioned the survey and presumably hoped for just such findings to boost the profession’s morale when many are feeling the impact of legal aid cuts.

While only 3 per cent of the 2,000 adults polled trusted journalists, 2 per cent bankers and 1 per cent estate agents and politicians, 24 per cent trusted lawyers.

Yet a sizeable 57 per cent polled do not trust any of those professions. Ruth Deech, chairman of the Bar Standards Board, said: “Lack of public trust in the professions is clearly a substantial issue. While legal professionals do not fare too badly, their net trust rating of 24 per cent is at best underwhelming.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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