Quality of Lawyers in Civil Litigation in the Era of Drastic Changes in Legal Education and Lawyer Population in Japan

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: Booth 59
Oral Presentation
Shozo OTA , Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
My presentation is based upon our empirical study on the quality of lawyers conducted in Yokohama District Court and Tokyo District Court. The number of lawyers in Japan has been rapidly increasing in the 21st century, e.g., 17126 in 2000 to 32088 in 2012. We have introduced the U.S. style graduate law school system on top of the traditional undergraduate law faculty system in 2004. The legal aid system has been drastically expanded with the completely new system called "Ho Terasu." These reforms was intended to enhance the people's access to justice and improve the quality of legal services, so that the Japanese legal profession is able to satisfy the increasing demands for quality legal services caused by the globalization. But these judicial reforms have been criticized by the bar associations and many lawyers. The rapid increase of lawyers is most severely criticized. One of the main reasons of criticism is that the increase yielded poorer quality of lawyers. We have been doing several empirical researches to test this and other claims. The study I will report at this session is modeled after Prof. Richard Moorhead's study on the quality of legal aid lawyers in U.K. One of the striking results of our research is that the quality of legal services in civil litigation by younger lawyers is better than those of older lawyers.