A recent survey of over 2000 ‘nationally representative’ British adults, conducted by Legal 500 Top 20 London PI firm 'Bolt Burdon Kemp', revealed that almost 60% of respondents would not feel comfortable approaching a law firm for help.
6 out of 10 people were uncomfortable contacting a lawyer because of fear they would be charged for their time.
The study found that just 41% of respondents would be happy to approach a law firm for help or to make a complaint specifically with reference to medical negligence, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse and issues with the police.
The main reason that puts people off contacting a law firm is the worry that they will be charged for any time the lawyer spends speaking to them, almost 20% of respondents stated this.
Meanwhile just over 10% said they might hesitate to contact a lawyer even in a traumatic or unjust situation, because they might find that they did not have a claim to pursue.
Worryingly for the legal profession as a whole is the fact that almost 60% of those surveyed thought that it is simply too expensive to access legal support and over half of respondents said there are too many barriers to obtaining legal help.
According to this survey, younger people are the group least prepared for dealing with a difficult legal situation. The legal sector should take these findings on board and more needs to be done to inform and educate the younger generation as to their legal rights and how to go about finding the right legal help.
Interestingly, from the group surveyed, a higher percentage of men reported being confident to bring forward a legal complaint that women. Further noteworthy statistics included the finding that those on lower incomes felt less empowered in traumatic or unjust situations.
It is imperative for legal professionals to provide consumers with practical and actionable information to ensure people know how to seek justice if there is a wrong that needs righting.
This survey highlights some of the critical issues facing the legal system, many of which have intensified since the start of the Pandemic.
LawBid has been providing a helping hand since 2016, offering a user friendly and effective platform for clients to find and connect with solicitors online, and importantly, compare prices.
Making improvements in access to justice requires investment and a commitment from the legal profession at large to challenge tradition, adopting law tech and legal tech solutions which create better access, price competition and an improved service for clients.