Sunshine Coast Community Legal Service Interview

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Objectives of the interview

1. How the lawyer understands and experiences their role as a rural/regional lawyer.
2. The opportunities and challenges of rural/regional practice.
3. The ethical dimensions of practice in a rural/regional area.
4. The impact of community and relationships upon the rural and regional lawyer’s role.
Issues
1. Providing a community legal service
2. Social and commercial networks
3. Acceptance of diversity and ‘small town’ ideology
4. Access to legal advice for everyone
5. Barriers, cultural, religious, and linguistic
6. Identifying the social problems in specific communities
7. Access to Legal Aid, Aboriginal Legal Service, Community Legal Service
8. Not enough practitioners, inability to recruit, incentives
9. Funding, monetization, alternative business structures
10. Confidentiality, physically unable to seek help
Questions
1. Introduction to the solicitor, who they are, what they do, who they work for
2. What practice areas do you offer advice in?
3. What attracted you to this role?
4. What do you personally get from your role?
5. What do you see as the most challenging aspect of your work?
6. What incentives does the service offer to entice new practitioners?
7. What other incentives (if any) could be utilised to attract practitioners?
8. Do you provide your service to everyone in the area?
9. If not, who is excluded from free legal advice?
10. Are there any cultural, religious or linguistic barriers to you providing advice?
11. If so, what provisions are in place to support you?
12. What provisions could be open to you to circumvent these barriers?
13. Do you have problems with conflict of interest being a small regional community?
14. Are there any other programs / services to help the other side?
15. Are there any other ethical problems associated with the service?
16. How do you address ethical problems? Does the Law Society help?
17. Are community networks important to the service? If so, how?
18. If you could change one thing about the service, what would it be?
19. What do you see in the future for rural / regional legal services?
20. Do you think that technology could be better utilised to offer legal services?
21. Anything you want to add to the conversation?
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community legal advice