Legal Choices 2020–2023 development strategy

Year one report

Introduction

In 2014 we launched Legal Choices as part of the joint legal regulators’ shared commitment to public legal education. We wanted to give people independent, factual information to help them navigate the legal landscape and empower them to make good choices about any legal services they may need. Since then, millions of people have visited the Legal Choices website and seen our content on Facebook and YouTube.

In 2020 we began a new three year development strategy. Our goal was to extend our reach while strengthening the quality and relevance of the content we put out. With the help of our advisory panel and team of most of the legal regulators, along with the Legal Ombudsman and Legal Services Consumer Panel, we have refined our offering, incorporating innovative and user-centric products into the website. An important step has been building a reference group of frontline advisers to fill the gaps in our understanding of emerging user needs. And everything we do is designed to meet specific success criteria.

Now, one year into the delivery of that strategy, we are pleased to be able to say we are beating our targets for reach and engagement. In the legal year ending 31 October 2021, we had more than a million visits to our website. On Facebook and YouTube, our videos were watched more than a million times. We have also seen users spending more time and viewing more pages on our website. Going forward, we hope to continue this success, expand our virtual reference group of frontline advisers, and continue our mission to inform and empower users of legal services.

Howard Dellar

Registrar of the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Chair, Legal Choices Governance Board.

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In the first year of our three-year strategy, we set ourselves ambitious targets. We wanted to reach and help at least half a million people while refining the quality of our offering. We used a mix of advertising and organic content marketing techniques to drive high quality traffic to the Legal Choices website.

12 month overview

  • Targeted adverts were seen 200 million times
  • People watched our videos 1 million times
  • Our website was visited 1 million times of which 80% came from our promotion

Website

  • People spent an average of 4 minutes on each web page, a 46% increase on our last report
  • More than 100,000 people found us through search engines – more than twice the number from two years ago
  • Our website is optimised for mobile users

Advertising

Times our advert was seen

  • Facebook: 6,572,370
  • Google: 232,752,864

Average cost per view

  • Facebook: <£0.01
  • Google: <£0.01

Average cost per click

  • Facebook: £0.13
  • Google: £0.06

Quality

Our Google search ads

  • £0.30 cost per click v £4.95 industry average

We have introduced a series of products and tools for the Legal Choices website. Each was built with customer experience in mind. We’ve sought and received continuous feedback to refine each product and make sure it is delivering a good experience.

Help me to understand legal language

Our online dictionary explains legal terms in clear English – we developed it in partnership with the Plain English Campaign – helping people to navigate their way through what can be complex and unfamiliar terminology. The dictionary acts like a search engine where users can type in a legal term and are given a clear definition, with links to related terms. Selected definitions are now also available in Easy Read format and video. The Legal Choices dictionary widget can be added to any website. Several regulators already have it on their website it and we’re seeing good feedback on its performance.

Help me to deal with eviction

This is the first in planned series of consumer journey products, helping people to get to grips with the problem they are experiencing and find help. It’s a smart tool embedded on the website gives users tailored eviction advice depending on their situation. A ‘decision tree’ logic format establishes which legal choices are available and how they should move forward. As people work through the product, the user only sees information relevant to their particular circumstances, making it easier for them to see their options.

Help me to trust my lawyer

This allows users to quickly and easily check if a provider, or potential provider, is the subject of regulatory or disciplinary decisions, without needing to know which of the legal regulators they are covered by. This meta-search portal will help to give users peace of mind when choosing a legal professional. We are planning to include data from the Legal Ombudsman and Bar Standards Board in due course and looking at developing the product to provide much wider information about legal professionals.

Finding out what matters

Our new virtual reference group app allows us to ‘take the temperature’ at the frontline so we can better understand what’s happening. In our successful 12-week trial, we asked frontline advisors one question per day about the sort of issues they may be seeing. We are building on this and in the months ahead, we will recruit more group members and continue to build a knowledge base to inform content commissioning and evaluation.

Help me to know about workplace discrimination

Our discrimination logic tree (below) is the latest intuitive online tool we have developed and is currently in trial. It asks questions and gives users an insight into workplace discrimination, conveying complex information in a simple way. Users who think they may have a claim can improve their understanding of workplace discrimination and be better placed to make choices about accessing legal advice.

Helping the helpers

Recognising that many people in difficult situations seek help from intermediaries, this advisor tool provides a set of information packs, collated from published Legal Choices content, which can be customised by advice givers and easily shared with those they advise. This lets frontline experts tailor information to the needs of their clients. Information can be easily compiled and shared in different ways with people who don’t have online access or prefer to talk to someone face to face.

Help us understand how we are doing

Our smart analytics dashboard system evaluates web content performance, incorporating user feedback and expert reviews, as well as quality measures drawn from conventional analytics. Website users can tell us if content has been helpful and how it could be better.

This supports our aim to produce high quality content. The dashboard updates in real time, which gives us the ability to respond to insight right away.

We need experts to help shape our content, join our reference group today.

Having successfully completed the first year of our current development plan, we will continue to focus on creating high quality content while expanding our reach. We remain ambitious and serious about our mission to make sure legal services users have the information they need.

A key focus for us is bringing more people into our world. We will continue to grow our virtual reference group of frontline advisers to alert us to emerging information needs and to evaluate our content.

As always, we’d like to thank everyone who has supported the work of Legal Choices. Your willingness to share expertise and insight is critical to our continued success.

About us

Legal Choices is run by the Solicitors Regulation Authority on behalf of

  • CILEx Regulation
  • Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)
  • Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPReg)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Faculty Office
  • Costs Lawyer Standards Board (CLSB)

Read our report on our work 2017-2020