A central concern of access-to-justice studies is whether the socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals can obtain effective assistance in dealing with their legal problems. Using the newly collected data from the 2011 Taiwan Survey, this article examines Taiwanese people's advice-seeking behavior in general and explores the effect of income in particular. This article finds that income had a significantly positive correlation with the likelihood of obtaining legal advice, but it has no impact on obtaining nonlegal advice. By contrast, education had little bearing on the decision to obtain legal advice, but it had a positive influence on seeking nonlegal advice. This article argues that although the gravity of problem was more influential than income on obtaining legal advice, the effect of income should not be easily dismissed. Moreover, the contrasting effect of education on obtaining nonlegal advice strongly suggests that its use was determined by people's knowledge of its existence and capability of accessing such service. To improve the disadvantaged's access to justice, care should be taken not only to increase publicly funded legal advice services but also to enhance the public's awareness of their availability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science