Attitudes and Intentions of Social Work and Law Students toward Each Other and Practice Together: A Quantitative Study



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This exploratory, cross-sectional, quantitative analysis examines the views of students of law and of social work, toward their own and the other profession, and their intentions regarding future collaboration. Three research questions were explored: (1) The perceptions of social work students and law students with respect to each profession, (2) Student attitudes regarding the collaborative value added by each profession, and (3) Factors predicting planned future involvement in collaborative practice following graduation. The findings reveal that (1) student views across both groups are similar, but a significant interaction effect between area of study (law/social work) and profession being rated precludes a definitive conclusion; (2) law students rate the collaborative value of lawyers significantly higher than do social work students, but no significant differences between the groups were noted regarding collaborative value of social workers, or based on prior experience; and (3) for both groups, there is a significant association between area of study and intentions to practice, with social work students more likely than law students to report future collaborative intent; there is no significant association between prior experience and future intent; as a logistic regression model, although area of study, interprofessional perceptions, collaborative beliefs, and prior experience predict intent to practice, only area of study is significant, with social work students having twice the odds of expressing a future collaborative intent than do law students. This study provides baseline data for students at the beginning of their academic careers, forming the foundation for future research into these concepts.



Laws, Social work, Interdisciplinary, Education, Attitudes, Collaborative value