It’s time for law firms to talk legal aid changes

It’s time for law firms to talk legal aid changes

We are weeks away from the biggest change in the provision for legal services in 70 years and yet the public seem blissfully unaware.

From the start of April legal aid will no longer be available for most divorce, financial and private law children cases, such as disputes between parents over contact arrangements for their children. Only cases of domestic violence remain unchanged, with people having to face court on their own or find the cash to pay solicitors.

It’s all part of the Government’s austerity plans, introducing these changes in order to cut the legal aid budget by £350 million per year.

This withdrawal will result in the vast majority of people who are currently able to obtain and access legal advice and representation, no longer being able to do so and yet it has barely got a line in the national press or on TV.

News like this affects many lives and you can bet your life that in a few months’ time legal firms the length and breadth of the land will hear the words: “If only I’d known, I’d have done it earlier. It would have saved me a fortune.”

This is a perfect example of the passive approach many legal firms take to their own Public Relations.

Solicitors know stuff that Joe Public doesn’t and needs to know. If a local solicitor was in the paper telling this story and then on the radio do you think that would affect his business?

This represents a great opportunity by many firms to position themselves as trusted s giving the public advice they need, which translates into business.

It is high time many in the legal world realised they have knowledge we need and started using the right channels to tell us.