Legal Profession Reform Index Factors

I: Professional Freedoms and Guarantees

Factor 1. Ability to Practice Law

Lawyers are able to practice without improper interference, intimidation, or sanction when acting in accordance with the standards of the profession.

Factor 2. Professional Immunity

Lawyers are not identified with their clients or their clients' causes and enjoy immunity for statements made in good faith on behalf of their clients during a proceeding.

Factor 3. Access to Clients

Lawyers have access to clients, especially those deprived of their liberty, and are provided adequate time and facilities for communications and preparation of a defense.

Factor 4. Lawyer-Client Confidentiality

The state recognizes and respects the confidentiality of professional communications and consultations between lawyers and their clients.

Factor 5. Access to Information

Lawyers have adequate access to information relevant to the representation of their clients, including information to which opposing counsel is privy (equality of arms).

Factor 6. Right of Audience

Lawyers who have the right to appear before judicial or administrative bodies on behalf of their clients are not refused that right and are treated equally by such bodies.

II:Education, Training and Admission to the Profession

Factor 7. Academic Requirements

Lawyers have a formal, university-level, legal education from academic institutions authorized to award degrees in law.

Factor 8. Preparation to Practice

Lawyers possess adequate knowledge, skills, and training to practice law upon completion of legal education.

Factor 9.Qualification Process

Admission to the profession of lawyer is based upon passing a fair, rigorous, and transparent examination and the completion of a supervised apprenticeship.

Factor 10. Licensing

Admission to the profession of lawyer is administered by an impartial body, and is subject to review by an independent and impartial judicial authority.

Factor 11. Non-Discriminatory Admission

Admission to the profession of lawyer is not denied for reasons of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, political or other opinion, ethnic or social origin, membership in a national minority, property, birth, or physical disabilities.

III:Conditions and Standards of Practice

Factor 12. Formation of Independent Law Practice

Lawyers are able to practice law independently or in association with other lawyers.

Factor 13. Resources and Remuneration

Lawyers have access to legal information and other resources necessary to provide competent legal services and are adequately remunerated for these services.

Factor 14. Continuing Legal Education

Lawyers have access to continuing legal education to maintain and strengthen the skills and knowledge required by the profession of lawyer.

Factor 15. Minority and Gender Representation

Ethnic and religious minorities, as well as both genders, are adequately represented in the profession of lawyer.

Factor 16. Professional Ethics and Conduct

Codes and standards of professional ethics and conduct are established for and adhered to by lawyers.

Factor 17. Disciplinary Proceedings and Sanctions

Lawyers are subject to disciplinary proceedings and sanctions for violating standards and rules of the profession.

IV.Legal Services

Factor 18. Availibility of Legal Services

A sufficient number of qualified lawyers practice law in all regions of a country, so that all persons have adequate and timely access to legal services appropriate to their needs.

Factor 19. Legal Services for the Disadvantaged

Lawyers participate in special programs to ensure that all persons, especially the indigent and those deprived of their liberty, have effective access to legal services.

Factor 20. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Lawyers advise their clients on the existence and availability of mediation, arbitration, or similar alternatives to litigation.

V.Professional Associations

Factor 21. Organizational Governance and Independence

Professional associations of lawyers are self-governing, democratic, and independent from state authorities.

Factor 22. Member Services

Professional associations of lawyers actively promote the interests and independence of the profession, establish professional standards, and provide educational and other opportunities to their members.

Factor 23. Public Interest and Awareness Programs

Professional associations of lawyers support programs that educate and inform the public about its duties and rights under the law, as well as the lawyer's role in assisting the public in defending such rights.

Factor 24. Role of Law Reform

Professional associations of lawyers are actively involved in the country's law reform process.

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