What do people know about law and lawyers?

 In Gill's Blog

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Why your clients need the Streetwise Guide to Getting the Best from your Lawyer

Streetwise guide to getting the best from your lawyerSlater & Gordon commissioned a survey of 2,000 people to find out what people knew about law and lawyers. The results are staggering.

According to Legal Futures 44% of those surveyed did not know the difference between a solicitor, lawyer or barrister – this is not a shock to me. Nor I suspect to most of you. Frankly, unless someone is using our services already, the public in general will assume all people providing legal services, regulated or not, would be regarded as lawyers regardless of qualifications, or lack of them.

Apparently, one third of people surveyed were not sure of the difference between criminal and civil courts. Again, this is not surprising as TV programmes focus on police and crime quite a lot of the time and don’t really explore things like probate and employment tribunals. Even so I found it staggering that one in ten thought probate was the same as probation!

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Unless a person needs legal help, they will give little or no thought to law and lawyers. Indeed, contacting a lawyer with a problem maybe so alien that they fail to realise they have a legal problem with which a qualified person can help them.

I remember once attending a career’s evening at a local public school on behalf of the Law Society and being amused that one girl thought that to become a lawyer you had to do an archaeological degree first and then a masters in law – I explained that lawyers might be perceived as old fossils but it was not compulsory to study them first to become a lawyer.

This survey vindicates my decision to write my book the Streetwise Guide to Getting the Best from your Lawyer since its purpose is to help the lay person know the best place to go for the right legal advice and constructive help.

In my book I spend time explaining the differences between lawyers, between the regulated and the unregulated, between those who have achieved accreditations or have joined membership organisations appropriate to a particular area of law.

I have included a chapter on pricing entitled ‘Is price all you should be concerned about’ and I have included chapters on how the law is made and the regulatory regime. These are designed to help people overcome some of the ignorance about who provides legal services and why some services providers give greater protection.

Why not donate a copy of my book to your local schools and colleges and offer to attend to provide a talk to the clients of the future?

Copies can be obtained via Amazon at https://amzn.to/2R8lSsU

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