- Insurance and banking industry deemed more accessible than legal services
Second Annual Access to Justice Week aims to make legal system more open and accessible
TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2017 /CNW/ - Millennials have become synonymous with technology due to their comfort and confidence using it for everything from shopping to banking to car buying. A new survey finds the justice system needs to embrace technology and provide more services in the digital world as millennials tackle everyday issues around housing and employment.
The survey conducted for The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) found that if faced with a legal problem that required them to seek out legal information, Millennials were most likely to search online to find this information (49%).
Significant Interest in Online Legal Services
The survey shows a keen interest by Millennials for new technology that might improve access to justice and favoured the following initiatives:
- Online interactive dispute resolution (85 per cent think this is a good or very good idea)
- Electronically-assisted Do-It-Yourself services (82 per cent think this is a good or very good idea)
In addition, the survey also identified a preference for legal services to be unbundled (87 per cent). Unbundled services are similar to an a la carte menu – together a client and lawyer decide what aspects of a case the lawyer will work on and what aspects the client can handle on their own. The client then pays for the particular services that the lawyer provides.
"Millennials are of increasing importance not only as citizens but as users of the justice system," says Paul Schabas, Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada. "The influence Millennials have on shaping everything from technology to politics is significant. Understanding more about their expectations and experiences of the justice system will help us make informed and modern improvements."
Key Issues: Accessibility and Lack of Awareness
More than half (58 per cent) of Millennials say finding information about even the basics of Ontario's legal system is a key challenge.
When asked Millennials to think about different sectors or industries in terms of making it easy to find information, access services, and interact with them online:
- A majority (60%) rated banks as good or excellent compared to only 30 percent cent for legal service providers (e.g. law firms, legal clinics, lawyers and paralegals)
- Half of Millennials rated pharmacies as good or excellent and 39 per cent rated the insurance industry this way, compared to only 23 percent for the courts and justice system
The most frequent legal situations experienced by Ontario millennials were employment and work-related matters (16 per cent) and housing law (16 per cent), which made up almost a third of the issues identified by respondents. Other issues were split across a variety of areas including criminal and family law, wills and estates, and human rights issues.
"We have an opportunity to raise awareness of credible and reliable sources currently available online," says Schabas. "Earlier this year we saw the launch of Steps to Justice, a website that presents clear language information about a range of legal topics including the ones that are most relevant to Millennials. TAG played a key role in facilitating the collaboration behind this resource which brings together key justice sector organizations including Community Legal Education Ontario, Ministry of the Attorney General and many others. These findings confirm there is a demand and we need to meet it."
The survey results coincide with the launch of the second annual Access to Justice Week in Ontario. The program, organized by TAG with a range of partners from October 23-27 in Toronto and Ottawa, builds on last year's event with sessions about access to justice as it relates to mental health, technology, public legal education and the importance of community driven initiatives.
For more Millennials, Technology and Access to Justice in Ontario survey results, please see:
For more information about Access to Justice Week activities, please see: https://theactiongroup.ca/access-to-justice-week/
About the Survey:
The survey, commissioned by The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) was conducted by Abacus Data online with 1,000 Ontarians aged 18 to 36 from September 20 to 27, 2017. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians, recruited and managed by Research Now, one of the world's leading providers of online research samples.
The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Ontario's population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) was established by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2015 to facilitate better coordination and collaboration across the justice sector. It is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario with support from the Law Society of Upper Canada.
SOURCE The Action Group on Access to Justice
For further information: Aliya Jiwan-Thawer, [email protected], 416-999-3355