It’s now time to stop talking about it and solve the access to justice problem. In some divorce courts in Canada, 70% of people are self-represented. This is terrible because it means that people are preferring to take care of their serious legal issues instead of hiring a lawyer. It’s like if people were doing surgery on themselves instead of going to a hospital because they hate doctors.
Make no mistake, legal issues such as family law are serious. People lose their homes and children. I don’t think it’s inappropriate to compare it to a hospital.
Important studies that have come out of the Legal Trends Report show that people don’t self-represent just because of saving money. The main reason why people prefer to do it themselves is that they don’t trust lawyers.
A lot of people don’t end up saving money doing it by themselves because they end up paying a massive amount of court fees and process serving by filing the wrong forms. Even worst, they end up spending years of their time on something that could have been resolving in a few months by a lawyer.
Access To Justice Problem
There’s a lot of talk by the courts, the Law Society and a few forward-thinking law firms about increasing access to justice. But very few people are doing anything about it.
I found that most lawyers are good at identifying problems, but they often have no solutions. They can’t tell you what should happen instead of the problem. The same is true with politicians, of which many politicians were previously lawyers.
Lawyers need to work with legal technology companies to improve the legal industry. There is a serious access to justice problem in Canada.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law