Shortcomings in Legal Consciousness. On Gender Differences in Legal Competence. With regard to mobilization and responsiveness of law a concept of legal consciousness is developed and refined in categories of the theory of action. Using qualitative data of nondirective interviews and group discussions gender differences are described. Such differences are demonstrable for cognitive distance to the law, the subjective theories about law, the awareness of claims, the instrumental-vs.-expressive orientation in legal action, the ego vs. alter direction of legal investment, the range of legal interference, the preference of negotiation to legal decision, the perception and acquisition of structural properties of the law, the autonomy in legal acting, the inclination to assert or to resign legal claims, the attribution of legal competence, the access to legal counselling and some inconsistencies in legal consciousness. In the final part some hypotheses are presented to explain the findings.