Working in Law’s Borderlands: Translation and the Work of an Advice Office

Authors

  • Morag McDermont University of Bristol
  • Eleanor Kirk University of Bristol

Keywords:

voluntary sector advice organisations, volunteers, translation, employment disputes, legal profession

Abstract

Increasingly people in the UK are turning to voluntary sector advice organisations for help and support in dealing with everyday problems. Here we argue that advice organisations, who work in the borderlands of law, are nevertheless key players in legal arenas, focusing on local Citizens Advice offices supporting clients with employment problems. We look at the making of advisers as border-workers through programmes which turn volunteers into employment advisers; and the paid advisers who inhabit spaces on the edges of the profession. We examine the social practices of these advisers, the ways in which law-work becomes translation and advice-work becomes a process of co-production between adviser and client. In concluding, we consider how far into the legal arena it is possible to go with limited resources; and what happens when translating the technicalities of law no longer works. Translation comes to mean advisers turning to their activist-selves and adopting political tactics.

Las autoras del artículo argumentamos que las organizaciones de asistencia, que operan en los límites de la legalidad, son no obstante actores claves en el campo jurídico. Nos centramos en las oficinas locales de Atención al Ciudadano, y nos fijamos en los asistentes como trabajadores en los límites, a través de programas que forman a los voluntarios para ser orientadores laborales; y los asesores pagados que habitan espacios en los márgenes de la profesión. Examinamos las prácticas sociales de estos asesores, las formas en que el trabajo jurídico se convierte en trabajo de interpretación y el trabajo de asesoramiento se convierte en un proceso de coproducción entre asesor y cliente. Para concluir, reflexionamos sobre cuán lejos se puede llegar en el campo jurídico con recursos limitados, y sobre qué sucede cuando ya no sirve la interpretación de los tecnicismos legales. La interpretación viene a significar que los asesores recurren a su papel de activistas y adoptan tácticas políticas.

DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=3067359

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Views 114
Downloads:
PDF 93


Author Biographies

Morag McDermont, University of Bristol

Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol Law School, UK

Eleanor Kirk, University of Bristol

Honourary Research Fellow

Downloads

Published

30-01-2017

How to Cite

McDermont, M. and Kirk, E. (2017) “Working in Law’s Borderlands: Translation and the Work of an Advice Office”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 7(7), pp. 1445–1464. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/864 (Accessed: 14 April 2024).