How do people choose a lawyer?
Posted by Melissa - February 20 2019
HOW DO PEOPLE CHOOSE A LAWYER?
By Deborah Baxter
Since 2010 the Legal Services Consumer Panel has commissioned YouGov to conduct an annual survey of consumer behaviour in relation to the selection of and satisfaction with lawyers. Click here to access the 2018 Tracker Survey.
The 2018 survey found that reputation continued to be the key choice factor in selecting a lawyer (78%), followed by price (72%), specialism (70%), speed of delivery (69%) and a local office presence (68%). Interestingly, only 5% of consumers use a “quality mark” accreditation to help them choose a lawyer.
Consumers’ experience of value for money from lawyers has increased from 61% in 2017 to 64% in 2018. Unsurprisingly, transparent information about the likely cost of a legal service is critical to making a choice. Only 6% of consumers find the cost of the service they require on a provider’s website. 10% of consumers who use a family law service report difficulty in understanding pricing information. There are reasons for this, which I will address in a moment.
Public trust in lawyers remains “stable” at 45%. So, 55% of the population don’t trust us! That is very disappointing and I hope that at least some people reading this article will be reassured that we are not all bad.
Don’t get me wrong – I would love everybody who reads this article to go on to buy a legal service from Baxter Harries. However, that is not the main purpose of the article. I would just like to do two things – explain some of the confusion about choosing a solicitor and recommend that you don’t try to “go it alone” when you come across a legal problem. Solicitors are trained and experienced specialists and can save you time and money in the long run.
So, to the confusing things. Firstly – cost. We are only required to publish fixed fees for certain types of work. If you look at the Baxter Harries website www.baxterharries.co.uk you will see that we set out our fees for Wills and for Lasting Powers of Attorney. This is because, generally the amount of work required to draft a Will or a Lasting Power of Attorney is about the same for each client and so it is easy to fix a set rate that is fair to everyone. Contrast this with a divorce, where what we do and how much we do really depends on the circumstances of each person’s case. So, it wouldn’t be fair to charge the same fixed fee for everyone as some people would end up getting far more than others for the same amount of money. However, what you can expect and what all solicitors are required to provide is an estimate of costs at the outset and a review of that estimate as the case progresses. So, you can still have transparency and you should know at any stage how much you have already spent and an estimate of how much more you are likely to spend. If your solicitor does not provide this, you should insist – or find a solicitor who does.
Secondly, the confusion about “quality marks”. They are important and they do mean that a firm or an individual solicitor has had to demonstrate particular expertise in a certain area of law which has been externally verified. So, they denote specialism, which is what many people (70% in the 2018 survey) are looking for.
Choose a solicitor carefully and you should be more than satisfied with the service. Rather than focussing on cost look for value for money, which is a better indicator of satisfaction.
And here it comes – the plug for Baxter Harries….we tick all the consumer boxes…
· We have an excellent reputation.
· We offer price transparency.
· We are Quality Mark accredited specialists.
· We provide an efficient service.
· We have a local presence.
But you don’t have to rely on what I say about Baxter Harries. Why don’t you pop in and find out for yourself?
I am the CEO of Baxter Harries. I would love to meet you for a chat over a cup of tea about what Baxter Harries can offer you and your family. That chat won’t cost you a penny.
Contact me on 01277 362332 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website www.baxterharries.co.uk