How can we help improve Legal Aid?

The legal system is broken in North America and the Legal Aid system is crumbling under the weight.  I’m not so sure that Legal Aid needs to be improved.  Like an old car, sometimes you need to make the decision to try something new and stop throwing good money after bad.

Who qualifies for Legal Aid?

3D-Women-WrongIn Ontario, you have to be pretty broke to qualify for legal aid.  God forbid you own a home!  Our experience when we were dealing with Family Court years ago was that they just put a lien against the house that had to be paid when we sold.  And they wonder why people cringe when you say the word “lawyer”!

The reality is that many who could use Legal Aid the most won’t qualify and the system is so stretched, that there aren’t enough resources for those who really need it.

 What if we take some pressure off?

Man-With-Question-06Many times, the need for legal representation could be reduced, if not eliminated.  I would think that if you could call a lawyer or attorney at the first sign of potential trouble, many issues would never see the light of day.  By setting up a system where people wouldn’t hesitate to get advice before an issue explodes, we could take pressure off Legal Aid services and make those resources more available to those who truly need it.

How do we take the pressure off?

 Have a plan!

Just like CAA or AAA for your car, have a service plan for those sudden occurrences.  If you run out of gas, the auto club will send someone with enough gas to get you to the station.

man-flyingYou could have a legal service plan to do the same thing for your sudden legal issues.

Imagine being able to pick up the phone and call a lawyer to find out if your neighbour can put up a fence and expect you to pay costs.  Or, call a lawyer for advice when the police are knocking on your door in the early hours of the morning.  Just maybe, that early morning advice could prevent you having to go to jail.  Imagine getting your law firm on the phone at 2am and having them advise you on what to say to the police.  Yes, there really is such a plan!

Can we help improve Legal Aid?

I believe we can.  If there is a will.

Some companies provide legal benefits as part of the company benefit package.  Usually limited in scope but better than nothing.  Some have more extensive plans available.  Legal plans been common, and in some cases mandatory, in much of Europe for many years now.  We had a friend who sells insurance in Germany visit recently and he said that yes, legal insurance is a very common product.  Why isn’t it here?

What needs to happen here is for the legal industry to be willing to change how they deliver services.  It’s starting to happen slowly in North America.  Are you interested in helping lead the charge?!

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Click Here to learn more!

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for open minded people.  I’m thankful for entrepreneurs.  I’m thankful for spring!

What are you thankful for today?