A Study of Counselors' Legal Challenges and Their Perceptions of Their Ability to Respond


  • Mary A Hermann Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Debra Gail Leggett Indiana State University
  • Theodore P. Remley, Jr. Old Dominion University




legal issues, ethics, counseling


The authors explore the results of a study that assessed the types and frequency of legal issues encountered by counselors and counselors’ perceptions of their ability to respond to these issues. They also assessed whether the participants’ perceptions were related to practice setting, years of experience, completion of a course in ethics, recent completion of continuing education in ethics or legal issues, state licensure status, certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), and highest degree earned. Results demonstrate that counselors feel most prepared to deal with situations encountered most often, but that school counselors do not feel as prepared to face most ethical and legal issues.

Author Biographies

Mary A Hermann, Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Mary A. Hermann is an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds a Juris Doctor in Law and a Ph.D. in counselor education. She is a licensed attorney, a licensed professional counselor, a national certified counselor, and a certified school counselor. Her research interests include current issues in school counseling, legal and ethical issues in counseling, and gender issues in counseling. Dr. Hermann has coedited a book on legal and ethical issues in school counseling and written numerous journal articles and book chapters, and she regularly presents at national, regional, and state conferences.

Debra Gail Leggett, Indiana State University

Dr. Debra Leggett is an assistant professor of counseling at Indiana State University. She is a licensed professional counselor and a national certified counselor and holds a PhD in counselor education. Her research areas include domestic violence, sexual abuse, marital happiness, and counseling issues like supervision and training.

Theodore P. Remley, Jr., Old Dominion University

Dr. Ted Remley is a professor of counseling at Old Dominion University. He has researched and written widely in the area of ethical and legal issues, including a textbook for school counselors.




How to Cite

Hermann, M. A., Leggett, D. G., & Remley, Jr., T. P. (2008). A Study of Counselors’ Legal Challenges and Their Perceptions of Their Ability to Respond. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 3(5). https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2008v3n5a70