Navigating the Legal Advice Maze – Knowledge, Expectations and the Reality of Advice Seeking
35 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2016 Last revised: 27 Sep 2017
Date Written: February 9, 2016
As law has become increasingly ubiquitous in modern life, the sources of help to deal with an increasing range of legal issues have become more fragmented and complex. Yet, despite the ubiquity of law and scale of the (broadly defined) legal services sector, there is evidence in England and Wales that public awareness of even the most prominent services is limited. How is it that people navigate the legal advice maze? What does this mean for the development of the law, legal services and access to justice? In this paper we build on the existing literature, using data from both waves of the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey (CSJPS) to explore public awareness of legal services, the characteristics associated with greater/lesser knowledge of advice services, as well as what it is that consumers of legal services want from their advisors. In confirming that levels of awareness of legal services are relatively low, and that the accuracy of the public’s understanding of the types of issue that different services can help with is wanting, our findings point to the need for legal services to convey more effectively the support they can offer. Even those services that figure prominently in the public’s consciousness have work to do in more accurately targeting their services and more effectively promoting access to justice.
Keywords: Empirical Legal Studies, Advice Seeking, Legal Services, Justiciable Problems, Access to Justice
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