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Family Law Blog

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So what DO solicitors do?

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New research has shown that more than two-thirds of consumers don’t know what solicitors do.

The YouGov survey also showed only 13% of respondents would buy legal services from a supermarket but, encouragingly for us, more than three-quarters of those who have used a solicitor were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received. The same research though showed less than half said they would be fairly confident of judging the quality of help they received.

Intriguing findings and they perhaps highlight difficulties the legal sector has created for itself. There has always been a kind of veil of mysticism about exactly what it is that solicitors can do that mere mortals can’t – a myth perpetuated by the industry with no explanation. This could be why we often come in for criticism. Doing what we can to be transparent about our work – particularly charges – and sharing information via websites and publications are ways to set the record straight and what legal firms should be doing in these difficult times.

It is essential clients and potential clients are properly advised about hourly rates and total costs. This information cannot be viewed in isolation but should be seen alongside the level of service they will get, eg a lower price might be appealing but could mean a less experienced lawyer working on the case.

With the inevitable advent of legal services in supermarkets, the 13% findings in this survey on that front may be a little premature. A more specific question about purchasing, for instance, conveyancing services, I expect would have thrown up a much higher number of people willing to give it a go.

And while the satisfaction ratings – which mirror our own at Woolley & Co – could leave us sitting back with nice warm glow, it is the minority who have a bad experience with solicitors who shout the loudest.

Ultimately, we need to be going out of our way to offer world-class customers service to everyone.


Andrew Woolley
Divorce solicitor

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Most members of the public know very little about what lawyers do. But does that really matter, when satisfaction levels are so high? Do you know a lot about what your orthodontist does? Or are you satisfied knowing that they have trained for many years and have been recommended by someone you trust?

Check out Sue Bramall’s blog in the Law Society Gazette. The director of Berners Marketing looks at the type of questions asked in the survey and wonders how often this kind of research is going to be repeated.

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/blogs/in-business-blog/yougov-survey-sheds-light-professional-services
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By Gazette on Monday January 18, 2010

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