Annual review

Annual review 2017-18 highlights

Law for Life strives for social justice by legally empowering individuals and communities. We believe everyone should be equipped with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to deal with the law-related issues they are likely to encounter in the course of their lives.

  • We specialise in targeted and tailored public legal education that is user-centred, empowering and preventative.
  • We deliver award-winning access to justice assistance that brings together on and offline help.[1]
  • We combine research and practice to achieve excellence in public legal education and information. We promote the importance of high quality public legal education and information (PLEI) in order to develop and share good practice.

The difference we make

80% of our survey respondents identified as actual or potential Litigants in Person, an increase of 48% since 2014-15

“I find the guides to representing yourself incredibly helpful and accessible. They cover very confusing, complicated legal processes and explain them in a way that makes them much easier to understand. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the guides have felt like a ‘god send’.” Advicenow user and Litigant in Person

 “Many thanks to Advicenow for invaluable support in providing comprehensive guidance to those whom do not have access to legal advice. I refer clients to your site daily and have advised them as to the merits of the publications, such guidance can be an absolute life saver.” Camilla Choudhury – Khawaja, Founder/Director, The Women’s Lawyer Ltd

Our PIP tool produced 15,832 personalised letters to help users to overturn unfair Personal Independence Payment decisions. We launched a similar tool to help our users overturn unfair decisions about their children’s DLA.

100% of participants in our empowerment workshops for black and ethnic minority female foreign nationals involved in the criminal justice system that they now felt more confident to recognize a reliable immigration adviser/lawyer and they understood their options if they did not get a good service. 89% of participants said that the course helped them understand how to work better with their immigration adviser/lawyer

 

“I recently had to go for a Home Office interview. I knew how I should behave in the interview because of information you provided”.  – Programme participant

The first evaluation of the long-term impact of our programme to help community workers better support their service users to deal with eviction and disrepair found that

63% were more able to make referrals to specialist advice/legal representation

38% were better able to negotiate on behalf of others to avoid evictions or resolve disrepair problems

56% were better able to explain legal issues to others

“The training on these subjects are of vital importance to everyone….. Law for Life is performing an invaluable service to local citizens, empowering us all.” Training Participant

Our reach

Advicenow received 1,092,518 visits by 801,948 users

50.3% of Advicenow survey respondents identified as disabled

48.5% of Advicenow survey respondents have a household income of below £1,100 per month after tax

167 people representing 80 different organisations participated in our education programmes

97% of our participants rated our courses “good” or “excellent”

Our influence

Law for Life’s Advicenow site had a year of accolades, winning both the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) Access to Justice through IT award, and a Plain English award for our popular guide How to win a PIP appeal.

We are a leading partner in the MoJ’s Litigant in person Support Strategy, along with RCJ Citizens Advice, the Personal Support Unit, and LawWorks clinics. We began contributing to the Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP’s public legal education panel, launched in July. We gave evidence to the Bach Commission report “Right to Justice”, launched in September 2017. And we are part of the Litigant in Person Engagement Group convened by the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Court Service to inform the development of the Online Court reform programme.

Looking ahead

We have devised our new a five year strategic plan, identifying four strategic priorities by analysing the strengths, challenges and risks that we face. In the next five years we will:

  • Deliver innovative public legal education that builds legal capability
  • Enable others to use public legal education and information
  • Understand and demonstrate the need for and value of PLE
  • Strengthen organisational sustainability to drive our mission and values

In the coming year we will expand our ethical retail offering, and expand our range of information tools. We will produce new materials to help Litigants in Person, those experiencing benefit sanctions, and those challenging DWP decisions. We will deliver our multimedia toolkit to support Roma parents going through the child protection process, and explore ways of creating easier pathways to further support and advice for users of our materials looking at divorce, child arrangements and financial orders.

Law for Life full Annual Review 2017-2018

Past annual reviews

Published: 27 September 2018

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