Quality legal support is challenging to find as legal representatives are not up to the job
Legal help doesn’t simply suggest use of a solicitor, lawyer or legal adviser. It is about having the ability to uphold legitimate legal rights. Although the solicitor, lawyer or legal representative can be the issue themselves.
The point had been outlined by the Young Legal Aid Lawyers organisation in a paper earlier this month which indicated that the level of quality in the legal segment is in fact not up to the work and lawyers are far below the standard required.
This is specifically relevant for the most vulnerable of clients, for instance a homeless woman who lost her chance to appeal against the town’s authority’s refusal to house her shortly after her adviser failed to supply proof of her serious mental health conditions.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) respect quality as the forefront associated with how they work. Unfortunately things are not looking bright for the LSC as they are dealing with a rising number of judicial reviews.
Which begs this question; if the Legal Commission is not up to the task then what chances do vulnerable clients have within the courtroom as soon as they need all of the assistance they can get?
The quality of legal service and advice is a huge problem for the whole field and indeed the profession and with the Legal Services Act 3 years ago, of which wants to open up and manage legal support; it should promote competition inside the sector and provides a path for complaints, which also enables a shift in dynamics within the legal field.
The Young Legal Aid Lawyers, who’ve acknowledged aspects wherein quality is being scaled back. A single section for example which they contest is that fixed service fees with regard to solicitors specifically has a bearing on the quality of legal service being offered.
The addition of fixed fees back in 07 have been referred to as a major risk to the sector. This specific risk was badly misjudged and was not and is not in the interest of lawyers or even their clients.
An example of a fixed fee circumstance had been the one I have pointed out earlier concerning the homeless woman who had been rejected housing as the woman’s adviser did not present evidence of her serious mental health issues.
The fixed fee adviser may possibly work for 3 hours for each situation. Nevertheless as outlined by the Young Legal Aid Lawyers the case can easily extend to six hours. It appears as they are not thinking about helping the client but working for the least number of hours for a larger fee that’s fixed regardless of the end result.
Generally if the fees don’t change the quality will stay the same that is a danger that the LSC faces.
The Young Legal Aid Lawyers additionally emphasize paralegalisation where “one partner supervises around 10 solicitors who in turn supervise 40 paralegals.” The concept for this is that efficiency is increased and delivered via economies of scale.
The issue is that young lawyers happen to be at the bottom of this stack and for that reason have not had sufficient experience to know what is wrong in certain cases. “New lawyers can’t be blamed for being unaware of things they don’t know”. Authors write.
The actual debate centred around legal help is cornered into a fight for survival for lawyers and legal reps. This really is reasonable as they don’t want to be at the bottom of this scale and be held responsible with regard to things they don’t understand or have no practical experience of. The danger is that quality for the the majority of vulnerable of legal clientele will be affected by cutbacks facing the legal industry.
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