On one side we have hundreds of thousands of people who need family law advice and guidance. On the other side, we have thousands of lawyers specifically trained to provide that service. If only the two sides: supply and demand, could be more closely brought together. While Legal Aid was available to help pay for that legal advice and guidance, things were pretty much all right. But Legal Aid was severely cut in 2013. And it’s been a car crash ever since. Pretty much every thing attempted by the Government since 2013 has been a band aid applied to a gaping wound. Family lawyers became, in large part, unaffordable for the ‘squeezed middle” – those not poor enough for Legal Aid not well-off enough to not need it.
I have been a bit obsessed with making family law more affordable. Not by dumbing down the quality of the legal advice on offer – that would be unacceptable. Nor by creating some one-size-fits-all model which is what the Government periodically attempts to roll out in various initiatives intended to encourage people to try mediation. No, the ambition must be to keep the quality of legal advice of the highest standard. And… cue drum roll, to make as much as possible of this high quality service free. Yes, I said free.
Now, it can’t be entirely free, that’s impossible. Even Legal Aid, for those few people still able to get it, isn’t free: monthly contributions have to be made and the state will want to be paid back if you recover any money or property. For the vast bulk of the population who aren’t eligible for legal aid, what can be done?
I have an answer of sorts. It’s called Nova. This is a platform that introduces the efficiency of AI to the warmth and experience of family law experts. It’s not a magic wand but I think, with nearly a decade of work that lies behind it, it’s a solid start. Feel free to check it out – it provides a free analysis at the start with a suggestion for the best method to resolve your family law dispute. I have seen so many people make the wrong choice over the years so I hope Nova will help you avoid the same fate.