In this video Dave Harries from Communicate TV ask members of the Woolley & Co team why the general public doesn’t seem to like or trust lawyers very much.
Dave: I must be fairly unusual in that I am in a room here with three lawyers and I have to say, we have been chatting away and you are all very nice and normal people, so why is it you think that people are a little distrustful of lawyers and don’t really want to use them unless they absolutely have to.
Tamara Glanvill: I think that family lawyers particularly are sometimes seen to be aggressive. We are not in the main, I have to say that all of the Woolley & Co solicitors are members of Resolution, we are tied into a code of conduct that tries to help clients find a solution without going to Court but the perception follows us around and it has taken a while to unravel.
Dave: So Kate, what about when your clients first come to you – are they rather suspicious of you, do you have to reassure them?
Kate Butler: Yes, I do think Family Law is something where the personality of the lawyer has to suit that particular client. What they are telling you about is something that is extremely emotional and personal to them and they often struggle to tell you what the real issue is. At Woolley & Co, we try really hard from the very first conversation we have with our client to put them at ease and make them understand that we are there to help them and try to find a solution which is right for them, not just overwhelm them with jargon.
Dave: Judith, as Kate was saying, it is a very personal business, they are going to share intimate secrets with you probably or fairly intimate anyway. So how can you, so I presume, you have got to get that rapport right?
Judith Buckland: You have, right from the start. I think, what Kate said, I mean what they are doing is, they are grasping the nettle, something that has been on their mind for a very long time and it is difficult for them to vocalise. So, very much part of our job is to put them at ease, to listen to them quite honestly before you jump in with lots of advice, listen to what their problem is and steer them back into what they need to talk to you about.
I think what I would say is very often after having spoken to a client for half an hour or so, a persistent theme is “I feel so much better” and that sometimes can just be getting it off their chest, getting a bit of proper advice giving them a plan to move forward. And it helps to dispel this myth that solicitors are remote or arrogant– we are just normal people and we are there to help.