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Why we need better public legal education and information

Half of the population experience a civil justice issue every 36 months.

Only 11% of people accurately recognise their problems as legal issues.

The vast majority of people tackle their legal problems alone – only 6% use a lawyer and 4% use advice agencies.

A quarter (25%) of those with a legal problem seek help on the internet.

People with low levels of legal capability are less likely to take action, and less able to successfully solve legal problems. They are twice as likely to experience negative consequences as a result of their legal problems, including stress-related ill-health, loss of income and family breakdown.

Our work

In 2014–15 we provided information and support to over 1.2 million people via our award-winning website Advicenow. This is a 90% increase in reach from the previous year.

Advicenow’s curated information service brings together 1,600 pieces of public legal information from over 250 UK websites. Every piece is reviewed against our inclusion criteria.

Around 92,500 people used Advicenow each month in 2015-16.

Our most popular guides include:

  • How to apply for a court order about the arrangements for your children without the help of a lawyer – 12,000 page views per month.
  • A survival guide to benefits and living together – 9,200 views per month.
  • How to deal with a tax credit overpayment – 8,643 views per month.
  • How to win a PIP appeal – 8,361 views per month.
  • How to fill in your financial statement without the help of a lawyer (guide and film) – 5,000 views per month

In 2015-16 our ‘in person’ education and training provision supported 50 groups, including African Women’s Care, Hackney Community Law Centre, Rainbow Care Community Association, and Refugee Action. Our e-learning courses were completed by 451 learners.

Our international work continues with Open Justice Foundation Macedonia, Icelandic Human Rights Centre and French NGO Avijed.

Published: 2 November 2016

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