Japanese attorneys are subject to the same complaints made about attorneys in other countries with incompetency and inaccessibility (not responding to calls and email) being frequently cited as complaints. Non-attorney legal professionals will tend to be more specialized in specific procedures with some handling only one category such as restaurant, construction, or alcohol license and will be more client-orientated.
As well, non-Japanese clients will frequently be frustrated by the unwillingness of Japanese attorneys to accomplish their goals. Japanese attorneys, particularly compared to US attorneys, are reluctant to be proactive for their clients and non-Japanese clients are often disappointed by Japanese attorneys telling them why their goal cannot be accomplished rather than finding solutions. As well, some non-Japanese have the frustrating experience of having their case rejected if the goal is not an immediate lawsuit. Non-attorney legal professional may be more willing to suggest alternatives and accept small jobs and may have a better understanding of what government officials are looking for in making filings which can be particularly important for visas where immigration officials have wide discretion to refuse.
Finally, there are very few Japanese attorneys who are competent in English or other languages and those who are fluent will frequently charge much higher fees for work in English compared with non-attorney legal professionals.
These days, larger law firms (both foreign and Japanese) will frequently employ non-attorney legal professionals and other paralegals and foreign attorneys, and so the above benefits can be realized together with the expertise of Japanese attorneys although the fees will be higher than when hiring a non-attorney legal professional directly.