26 July 2012
Pioneering webcam legal advice service ties up with Citizens Advice Bureau
The Instant Law service in use at Brent Town Hall Library
Instant Law – the legal video-conferencing business that currently offers its service through major libraries in London and Birmingham – is to move into the not-for-profit sector next month by partnering with Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureau in London.
The hope is that the initiative will act as a pathfinder for Instant Law to team up with other not-for-profit providers. Separately Instant Law has also begun a pilot of home video conferencing.
Both CAB users and staff will be able to get free legal advice directly from specialist lawyers via Instant Law’s secure video-conferencing software. It covers a wide range of private client services, including immigration, employment, landlord and tenant, and family.
Users are only passed to a panel lawyer if they require representation, and they will be local so that if a face-to-face meeting is required, users do not have far to travel.
Ian Dodd, business development director at Instant Law UK, said: “People can often find it difficult to fix a convenient appointment time to discuss their problems and some find solicitors’ premises rather intimidating. Providing this service in partnership with Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureau overcomes these problems and provides a professional advice service.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Greenwich Citizens Advice and they join the other six locations we have using the system.”
Traci Jenkins from Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureau said: “This service is invaluable. These are challenging times where our local communities are facing ever increasing difficulties accessing free, quality legal advice. I am confident that this service will not only be an asset to the Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureaux, but will provide an alternative route for those in need of specialist legal advice.”
Instant Law is currently accessible to users of libraries in six London locations – Westminster, Marylebone, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Brent and Harlesden – and Birmingham Central Library. It is now also available to home users with webcams, and one of the first callers of this pilot extension was a heavily pregnant woman with an employment law issue.
By Legal Futures
Tags: Citizens Advice, not-for-profit, video conferencing
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