How to choose a solicitor?

Choosing a solicitor.

Over the last 10 years, the legal profession has changed considerably. It used to be the case that most solicitors’ firms covered all aspects of the law. Nowadays most firms specialise. This is due to the fact that legal work is increasingly complex and it is very difficult for anyone to know everything about everything.

 

The first step in choosing a solicitor is to be clear about the area of Law that applies to your case. You can then search for the service you need on the internet, or ask professionals, family and friends for recommendations.

A good place to start is to visit a number of solicitor’s websites to see the services they offer. Be aware that the specialist solicitors that would be best placed to help you may not be based in your town. With modern technology, you may find you would benefit from the services of a solicitors based miles from where you live. If travelling to their offices is difficult or inconvenient, it may be possible to communicate via email or Skype.

Local advertising provides a good way for firms to share their specialist areas. As a good example, Pickup & Scott ran a radio campaign to promote our expertise as immigration solicitors, which is one of our specialist areas. As a result, we were contacted by people from a broad geographical area. We knew that it would be difficult for some families to visit our Aylesbury offices, so we travelled to them.

If it would help you to have a translator, an accessible office or a solicitor willing to travel to you, ask if these services are available before you choose your solicitor. It can make all the difference.

The Future of the High Street Solicitor

Given that so much has changed, has the high street lawyer got a future? In our view, there will always be a place for a local lawyer. As part of the community, they should be approachable, able to give advice on a range of subjects and if necessary refer matters on to another specialist.

What is mental health law?

Mental Health Law.

Most of that law is contained in an Act of Parliament called the Mental Health Act. It has been amended several times and this year there has been further discussion about changing it.

Sometimes a person who has a mental illness is unaware of how bad it is, how it affects them and others, or whether they are ill at all. They may not always be able to make sound judgments. The law can allow others to make decisions on their behalf, including medical treatment, even when they refuse.

It is a delicate balance between wanting to protect people’s right to make their own decisions and the need to keep them and the public safe.

Often, we find that a person has been gradually getting ill over a number of years. Their family have been trying to get help and it has reached a crisis point.

The patient is admitted to hospital for a few weeks and then discharged. With little time to prepare, carers and family members find it difficult to access the necessary help and support when it is needed.

As specialists in Mental Health Law, we get involved when patients apply to a Mental Health Tribunal. The patient has a right to apply when they are detained in a psychiatric hospital and legal aid is available for this.

The tribunal is an independent panel of specialists who review whether the detention is necessary. Some patients are in hospital because they have committed a criminal offence and the court has sent them to a hospital to get treatment rather than go to prison.