Lawyers’ Interviews with Clients about Family Violence

University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 929-944, 2010

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/03

17 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2011  

Patrick Parkinson

The University of Sydney Law School

Atlanta Webster

The University of Sydney Law School

Judith Cashmore

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: January 31, 2011

Abstract

39 Australian family lawyers, 20 women and 19 men, were asked about whether they routinely interviewed clients about domestic violence as part of their initial consultation with clients seeking advice on family law issues. Only just over half indicated that they routinely explored this issue, with a trend for female lawyers to be more likely to do so than male lawyers. Other lawyers, who did not routinely ask about violence, relied on intuition, assumptions about their clients based upon socio-economic status or appearance, or cues within the interview. This article argues that lawyers need to ask about family violence routinely in initial interviews with both male and female clients.

Keywords: Family Law, Domestic Violence, Legal Profession, Parents, Children

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

Parkinson, Patrick and Webster, Atlanta and Cashmore, Judith, Lawyers’ Interviews with Clients about Family Violence (January 31, 2011). University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 929-944, 2010; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1752580

Patrick Parkinson (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Atlanta Webster

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Judith Cashmore

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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