Sustainable regional and rural legal practice
Thank you for your contribution in terms of time and experience to this project – both are extremely valuable and highly appreciated. Without your input, this research project would have lacked depth and relevance for the very people that it is focussed on.
The purpose of this website is to:
provide a source of information about the progress of the research
The research project began in late 2008 and will continue until 2013. There are many stages involved in the project including the interview-stage that you have now contributed to. So that you have a sense of where the project is at, this webpage provides a brief overview of the project and its current status (see Stages of the Research Project, below)
make available to you relevant information that deals with some of the business management issues you, as a practitioner, face on a daily basis
Issues associated with both regional legal practice, and indeed ‘legal practice’ has been the focus of research and study in a number of other countries, particularly the US and the UK. The legal profession and the practice of law have been undergoing major change since at least the 1990’s. Reasons for the changes include the impact of information technology. I’ve selected some key journal articles that I hope you will find useful and informative.
Stages of the research project
- Review of the literature; and outline and development of the project (mid-2008 – late 2009)
- Approval of the project and the survey instrument (late 2009 – early 2010)
- Collection of data through survey instrument & interviews (early 2010 – late 2010)
- Analysis of data (late 2010 – end 2011)
- Writing up the findings (end 2011 – end 2012)
What we hope to achieve from the research
- Raise awareness of issues faced by RRR legal practitioners
- Contribute to state and national policy development relating to RRR legal practise
- Develop professional education programs that will directly assist
- Continue to research more deeply into RRR legal practice
About RRR Legal Practitioners
- There are over 1300 law firms in Queensland; 260 of those firms are located in RRR Queensland; 170 of those firms are sole practitioners
- Over 200 telephone calls to RRR legal practitioners have been made seeking involvement in the project
- Practitioners from north, central and southern Queensland and the inland and coastal areas have been involved
- Sole practitioners; small and large partnerships; very old and very young law firms; remote and regional law firms – all have been involved in this project.
Raising the profile of the project and talking about RRR Legal PracticeThe project has been the subject of broader discussion at the following forums
- Regional Legal Practitioners Workshop (USQ, Toowoomba) November 2008
- Stanford Law School Conference (Stanford University, USA) July 2010
- The National Rural/Regional Law and Justice Conference (Deakin University, Victoria) November 2010
The final stage... and beyond
The final stage of the project will include providing you with a summary of the findings and asking research participants' comments. Again, that aspect is purely voluntary.
It is intended that this particular research project – carried out here as part of doctoral research – will continue in order to build a clearer picture of life as a RRR legal practitioner. You are most welcome to continue your links to this (and other studies) at that time.
Caroline Hart (PhD Student)
Professor Reid Mortensen (Supervisor)
Associate Professor Retha Wiesner (Associate Supervisor)