There are few large surveys to find out what clients think of the services of
lawyers, and what they expect from them.
A useful tool is the report of the General Inspectorate of Finance ordered to prepare the various
texts called by shortcuts: “Macron laws”. This report was commissioned, according to his engagement letter,
to prepare the necessary adaptation to the ongoing reforms of the directives applicable to the professions
regulated, and to verify whether job creation and economic gains could be
caused by changes in professional regulations.
During the work of the Commission, it appeared that the profession lacks a tool to
transparently and regularly probe the view of the lawyer by the public. There are surveys
ad hoc29, but they are not regular. The interest of this type of investigation is to identify, year
year after year, trends and developments, using the same methodology. The observatory of the
profession, within the CNB, is a tool for studying the profession itself more than its image
and its perception.
On page 19 of the aforementioned report, appears the result of a survey, the results of which must be recalled
concerning lawyers. 96% of respondents believe that the services of lawyers are expensive.
23% believe that the profession does not provide quality service, 19% believe that the profession does not
not render a personalized service. 49% have used a lawyer in the past.
If it is permitted to present these figures in a more optimistic manner, we can consider that the very large
the majority of respondents believe that lawyers provide quality service that is personalized. Only
half of those polled have already had recourse to a lawyer.
Regarding the fact that 96% of those polled consider that the services of lawyers are expensive,
the objective observer may be quite surprised. First, while less than half of those polled had
use the services of a lawyer, almost all find the rates expensive. So we have at least
half of the sample which is not based on personal experience but on notoriety …
Moreover, it is difficult to combine this result with the method of fixing lawyers’ fees.
Indeed, unlike many other regulated legal professions, the fees of
lawyers are free. Some lawyers charge high fees, others don’t.
It is very possible that this quite considerable rate is in fact due to the impression, for the respondents,
a lack of transparency of fees. As the fees are free, they are extremely
variables and consultation of lawyers’ websites (today the leading media for
potential customer to form an opinion on the prices charged) are generally silent on this subject.
Sometimes firms can be found outlining their hourly rates, or at least a range of hourly rates.
But to know the result of a multiplication, it is not necessary to know only the hourly rate
but also the number of hours envisaged or foreseeable.
A series of hearings produced fairly similar results. First of all, for the actors
modern economics (mainly start-ups) law as part of the organization
strategy is too complex and the relationship with the law firm is not straightforward. Yes
the assumption is that start-up leaders have developed over the past ten years a
different way of doing business, you have to listen to them carefully because they are probably the
regulators and pioneers of what will be general in our society, on the side of business leaders,
consumers, and litigants. For these economic actors, the law is a painful constraint,
and there is a very big difference between the value of the lawyer’s service and its price, which is
the very definition of high cost.
The innovative economic actors that we can call Legaltechs or law start-ups, have
gave their first feedback to the Commission. Consumer expectations are in
– ease of access;
– the reactivity ;
– ease of operation;
– transparent prices;
– low prices (concern expressed last).
Finally, among these hearings, many speakers noted the importance and interest of belonging
to a regulated profession characterized by strong ethics, demanding discipline,
guaranteed competence, and compulsory liability insurance. In other words, the brand
“Lawyers” carries a number of quality of service guarantees, but these elements