Putting you in the picture about your legal decisions and choices
Last November NAWO was invited to join a Legal Choices Advisory Panel. How is that relevant to us you ask. Legal Choices is a public business and consumer-facing web site and social media presence designed to help people who may need legal services to make informed choices about any services they may need. Funded by the Legal Services Regulators it creates the opportunity for regulators to engage directly with people using or potentially using legal services. It does not sell services or promote any particular group of lawyers. It aims to do everything it can to help people get to grips with legal services. Access the website for more information here.
The Panel is part of a three year initiative with the objective of improving the website, and enabling people to identify if their problem or issue is one that needs some legal support to resolve; and then point to a whole range of resources including self-help solutions, and guidance on how to use them effectively. The Panel provides input and advice on what would be most useful to include on the website. As we know we are all faced with a difficult issue at some point in our lives that may need legal support. It is important that we know the questions to ask and to be able access the best service possible.
Members of the Panel include people from consumer groups such as Citizen Advice, NAVCO, charitable and civil society organisations representing specific groups including homelessness, mental health, families, children asylum seekers and refugees older people; small businesses; and British Chamber of Commerce, Confederation of British industry, Institute of Directors.
We have had an initial meeting which teased out a broad range of issues which it was felt could be addressed on the website including consumer rights, access to education, migrants’ rights, domestic violence, sexual harassment and coercive control, gender equality and women’s rights, work place issues, identifying discrimination. We also had a very positive discussion around the ‘pain points’ in accessing support, affordability, language and communication, confusion and fear, digital exclusion, legal rights, quality standards ……… Affordability is a key barrier for many people – ‘going legal’ is costly and adversarial. This is how Legal Choices helps with information on costs here .
If you have any thoughts on accessing legal services you would like me to raise or difficulties you know about accessing legal services please get in touch and let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A brilliant new information initiative – we need to make people aware! Please let people know.