In this article, we use data from interviews with 45 criminal defence lawyers to examine the reasons behind a decline in publicly funded representation in applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). In doing so, we pay particular attention to the relative significance of financial and emotional factors. Our analysis finds that financial factors related to changes to legal aid are significant drivers of a decline in publicly funded representation, but that the financial unviability of CCRC work is also compounded by emotional factors. These include a sense of insecurity, low levels of satisfaction, and a perceived lack of recognition and appreciation, symbolized by low levels of remuneration and exacerbated by poor relationships with external parties. Emotional factors thus combine with financial factors to reduce the supply of publicly funded advice and deter junior lawyers from specializing in this niche area of practice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the ESRC, which funded this research (grant ES/R008515/1), and the CCRC for allowing access to their organization. We thank all participants in this project for their generous contributions. We also thank Daniel Newman and Richard Vogler, and the anonymous peer reviewers, for their comments on earlier drafts of this article. The data associated with this article can be accessed on the UK data service site (DOI: 10.5255/UKDA‐SN‐855469).
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Law and Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cardiff University (CU).