What Do Lawyers Do Then? The Public Just Dont Know!

Paul Hajek | 12 Jan 2010

When asked what solicitors and lawyers do, 68% of respondents in a Poll carried out by YouGov last week expressed little or no knowledge.

The results of the Poll of 2033 peopled commissioned by the Legal Services Board in England and Wales were published in the Law Society Gazette this week. http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/lsb-research-reveals-public-don-t-know-what-lawyers-do

The Poll maintained that less than half of respondents said they could recognise quality in their lawyers.

As is the way with this type of survey, seemingly, contradictory opinions were noted. For, whilst more than half said costs were a major factor in choosing their solicitor, more than three quarters said they had not shopped around before choosing their lawyer.

Some Good News about Lawyers:

Also buried in the article is the fact that satisfaction levels with lawyers are high.

Over 75 % of people were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by their lawyers, and a whopping 67% said they were likely to recommend their solicitor to friends and family.

The spectre of so called TescoLaw has not registered yet with the public. Only 13% said they would be tempted to get their legal advice from a supermarket when deregulation of the legal services market occurs in a couple of years time.

Inspite of the satisfaction levels, it is however not a time for lawyers to be complacent.

The rather startling conclusion is that the public still do not know what lawyers do.

More worryingly for some lawyers, is that the public have no idea how to find and judge the quality of the lawyer and the legal advice which is given.

The writing may be on the wall for some lawyers. 

What lawyers must do now:

Lawyers need to redouble their efforts in engaging with their existing clients. Communication must improve.

The need for a website with constantly improving and updated information on matters which mean most to clients is the imperative. Content will be the new king.

The internet has allowed for greater interaction and made it easier for lawyers to keep contact with their clients.

The firms who will survive and thrive are the ones that stay closest to their clients and fulfil their needs.


Where lawyers’ work was obtained in the old days, on the basis of who knew their lawyer, the emphasis from now on, will be on what the client knows about their lawyer.

Lawyers must ensure that they make it as easy as possible for their clients and potential clients , to not only now know about them, but also as the research shows, know exactly what they do, and perhaps more radically and more profitably, what else they do. 



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