Since moving to offer advice online, some clinics are reporting a decrease in demand for their services, yet we believe that now, more than ever, people will be facing issues for which they need legal advice and assistance. Clinics have also reported that they are now providing advice to client groups that are different from the communities they supported when operating their face-to-face services. The consequences in moving services from face-to-face to remote delivery has been that clients are less able and/or likely to access clinics, the challenge now is to ensure that clinics are reaching "disappeared" clients.
Chilli Reid, Executive Director at Advice UK, discussed the importance of gathering information and data about a client's journey to services, which can help clinics to better understand the needs of the client, why clients revisit services and how to keep clients engaged in the delivery of advice. Chilli has also shared a resource; 'Whole person approach top tips' providing practical considerations for advisors and advice delivery.
Mary Marvel, Deputy CEO and Head of Communications at Law for Life, shared information about using Facebook to advertise their Law for Life and Advice Now wesbite, resources, tools and guides, which can help clients to better identify and understand their legal problem in the first instance, before then seeking legal advice.
Jasmine Ashley-Tagoe, Advice Centre Manager at Toynbee Hall, spoke about her experience of running a pro bono clinic and detailed how she has adapted their face-to-face service to an online and telephone advice line to continue to help clients. Jasmine also talked about the importance of building connections with frontline organisations (for example social prescribers, covid mutual aid organisations) where clients already have a relationship, so that clinics can build on the trust in that service.
After the presentations the discussion continued, giving coordinators the opportunity to raise queries and share solutions from their experiences.
- Law for Life - presentation
- Advice UK - presentation
- Whole person approach top tips
- Advice Now - Civil claim resources
- The Affordable Advice Service from Law for Life
Comments and links to further resources shared by attendees can be found at our Clinics Forum