(Dis)advantage, Collateral Consequences and the Right to Effective Legal Assistance
Presented in 2024 by Meritxell Abellan-Almenara at the Law & Society Association meeting in Denver.






Quirouette, M., Abellan-Almenara, M, Batista, C.

Research on the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction has grown exponentially in the past years. However, the overwhelming focus has been on the offenders' experience of such consequences, the impact they have on social reentry pathways and different criminal record expungement initiatives. While a few authors have shown an interest in the perceptions and practices of criminal justice actors, questions persist about the effects expanding collateral consequences have had on the criminal defense lawyers' duty to provide effective legal assistance to their clients. Drawing on qualitative interviews with 65 criminal defense lawyers and engaging with scholarship on privilege and the reproduction of inequality by the criminal justice system, the current study explores the ways criminal defense lawyers with different levels of privilege consider the collateral consequences of a conviction for their disadvantaged clients. The findings suggest that the imposition on lawyers of the duty to inform defendants of the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction as part of their right to effective legal assistance has exacerbated the privilege imbalance between private practice and legal aid lawyers. The study contributes to a better understanding of the ways collateral consequences of criminal convictions (re)produce inequality within the criminal justice system and beyond.