The Legal Choices website, dedicated to providing the public with easy-to-understand information on legal services, has had more than three million visits since October 2017, an almost 20-fold increase on the previous three years.
More than 10% of all legal service users in England and Wales now say they are using Legal Choices as a way to find information. The figure rises to more than 20% among small business consumers of legal services.
Operated in partnership by seven legal services regulators in England Wales, the Legal Choices website and Facebook page provides independent, factual information designed to help the public and small businesses understand more about legal issues such as their rights, legal terminology and the types of legal advisers available to them.
Originally launched in 2014, the site – and the range of information available on it – has expanded in recent years after the adoption of a three-year development plan in 2017. The plan was in part a response to recommendations made in the Competition and Markets Authority’s 2016 report on the consumer legal services market.
Key additions to site in the past three years have been developed with extensive involvement from users, and include:
An automated chatbot style experience that gives tailored information to people facing ‘no fault’ evictions was also introduced in early 2020. Despite the ban on eviction proceedings from March to September, this has received more than 100,000 views to date.
Sheila Kumar, Chair of the Legal Choices Governance Board said: “Public legal education is a key part of the role of the regulators, providing objective information about legal services and helping people to navigate the legal sector. Legal Choices is an accessible and up to date way of reaching consumers and helping them to choose and use a lawyer, and has really proved its value during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“The partner regulators have now committed to a further three-year development programme, which will increase the significant contribution that Legal Choices is already making to supporting the public to access the help they need.”
A report into the Legal Choices 2017-2020 three-year development programme can be found here: https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/reports/legal-choices-summary-report-20172020/