When it comes to getting legal help, many people believe that hiring a local solicitor near them is their best option. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes choosing a local solicitor can actually lead to a worse overall experience than if you were to work with a solicitor based somewhere else in the UK. In this article, we’ll debunk five common myths about local solicitors so that you can decide what’s best for you.
I. Myths about local solicitors': expertise and availability
Myth #1: Local solicitors have greater expertise
It's a common belief that local solicitors have greater expertise due to their familiarity with the local community and legal system. However, the legal system in England and Wales is not geographically bound, and the best solicitors are distributed throughout the country. In fact, limiting your search to a local area can restrict the pool of talent available to you, potentially leading to less experienced or less specialised legal representation.
The most skilled solicitors often gravitate towards larger cities, where they can find more opportunities for career growth and a broader range of clients. These urban centres attract top legal professionals, enabling them to specialise further and deepen their expertise in specific areas of law. On the other hand, local solicitors based in rural or remote areas may have to take on a wider range of cases, which can limit their ability to specialise in a particular area.
At Lawhive, we recognise the importance of connecting clients with the best solicitors regardless of location. We vet all of our solicitors for quality, ensuring that you have access to highly skilled and specialised legal help, no matter where your solicitor is based.
Myth #2: Local solicitors are more accessible and available than other solicitors
In the past, it was common to assume that local solicitors would be more accessible and available to clients due to their distance. Clients could easily visit their local solicitor's office for meetings, consultations, and updates on their cases. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way solicitors work, with many local solicitors now discouraging clients from visiting their offices in person at all. This shift has led to an increased reliance on digital communication and remote consultations, diminishing the importance of being nearby your solicitor's office.
Solicitors that work online can often dedicate more time and resources to your case, as they may not have the same level of walk-in traffic as a high-street firm. This can lead to more focused and attentive representation, ultimately benefiting you.
Given the legal industry's reliance on digital communication tools and the transition to online work it’s now more important than ever that you choose a solicitor that prioritises communication and responsiveness. We’ve covered this topic in more detail in our guide on everything you need to know about working with a solicitor
II. Myths about local solicitors': cost and efficiency
Myth #3: Local solicitors are cheaper than other solicitors
A common misconception is that local solicitors offer more competitive rates due to lower overheads and operating costs. While it's true that some local solicitors may have lower expenses than their counterparts in larger cities, this does not automatically translate into lower fees. In fact, competition within the legal market often leads to more affordable pricing, regardless of location.
Solicitors that work online face more competition, which results in lower fees. At Lawhive, we actively control the pricing that our solicitors charge and ensure that their fees are competitive, often up to 50% lower than those of high street firms. By expanding your search beyond local solicitors, you can access a wider range of pricing options and potentially secure more affordable legal help.
Myth #4: Hiring a remote solicitor will result in delays and inefficiencies
Many people believe that working with an online or remote solicitor will lead to delays and inefficiencies. However, these concerns are often unfounded. The key to efficient and effective legal representation lies in the solicitor's professionalism, communication skills, and expertise; and we always recommend checking a solicitor's record before working with them.,
In today's digital age, solicitors can communicate with clients and manage cases using online tools and platforms, regardless of their geographical distance. Video conferencing, instant messaging, and secure file-sharing platforms have made it easier than ever for solicitors to collaborate with clients and provide timely updates on their cases.
III. Myths about local solicitors convenience
Myth #5: It is always better to choose a local solicitor because of convenience
While it may seem advantageous to have a solicitor nearby, the reality is that the convenience of working with a solicitor extends far b__eyond their physical location.
When selecting a solicitor responsiveness, communication style, and the use of technology should be the primary considerations when evaluating convenience. A solicitor who is proactive in providing updates, uses secure and user-friendly platforms for communication, and accommodates your preferred communication methods will be more convenient to work with, regardless of their physical location.
Moreover, working with a solicitor online can save you time and effort. You won't have to rush to make an appointment during business hours, find parking, or travel to their office. Instead, you can communicate with your solicitor from the comfort of your own home or office, allowing you to focus on the things that actually matter.
Alternative? Find a solicitor online
Choosing the right solicitor is a decision that should not be based on location. Ultimately it is important to consider the bigger picture, and focus on finding someone that can demonstrate expertise and is efficient, affordable and convenient to work with. If that person is nearby, great! It may be a good fit. If not then you shouldn’t be put off from exploring the possibility of working with a solicitor online. At Lawhive we work with hand-picked expert solicitors based around the UK so if you decide that you would like to work with a solicitor remotely then we’re here to help!