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When choosing a Family Law solicitor, why are location and face-to-face interaction a client’s priority?

A YouGov survey of 3,589 users of legal services over a two year period revealed that 77% of those who use a solicitor would choose a small local firm rather than a large corporate firm. With reputation, price, specialism and convenience more valued by customers now than in 2012, local firms remain at the forefront of people’s minds when they’re looking for a solicitor.

Sweeney Miller has recognised that this is especially prominent in the Family Law department where people prefer to choose a solicitor that they can visit in person. The reasons for this could be that face-to-face interaction provides the opportunity for the client to fully explain their, often complex, situation.

Another reason for the preference towards local solicitors is the frequency of word-of-mouth referrals for Family Law solicitors. Due to the sensitivity of the cases, people tend to go through a solicitor that a friend or family member has had a successful experience with. As people usually live close to their kin, they find themselves approaching a local firm.

The YouGov survey also revealed that, when it comes to the delivery of legal services, online channels have replaced postal services while face-to-face offerings have remained relatively stable over the past four years. Although an online presence for solicitors and lawyers is important, customer service with a physical presence is still valued. This again highlights the value of a local firm, where people can walk to a nearby office and receive legal advice and support.

Although Family Law prides itself on face-to-face services, it’s also interesting to see that those seeking different areas of legal support use varying methods of delivery. For example, those using writing and power of attorney are more likely to seek face-to-face services (80% and 61% respectively) compared to those who seek conveyancing services who are more likely to seek an online service (56%). On the other hand, accident and injury claims are the most likely to be conducted through a telephone call (34%).

The research also revealed that, in a generation of automation, interaction with a person is preferred over “speaking” with AI (artificial intelligence) such as a chatbot. The main barriers for people considering using AI seem to be the platform not being very user-friendly (49%), concerns over data security (47%) and a lack of trust in AI technology as a whole (47%). In the department of Family Law, getting to know the full situation that the client is in is a huge part of helping them with their case. Gaining a true understanding of the relationships and issues involved is something that would be difficult to achieve through AI.

Sweeney Miller offers a range of Family Law legal services in Newcastle and Sunderland, get in touch with us today.

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