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Legal Support, Legal Advice, Legal Information

What is the difference between legal advice and legal information?  Legal support is the assistance given to a person or organisation that enables them to access the legal system. This is either legal advice or legal information. It is important to understand the differences between these services when accepting legal support.

What is legal advice?

Legal advice is the application of legal principles to a legal issue and then advising on what to do. The advisor may also provide options on how the legal situation can be resolved. Legal advice is only given to persons by professional qualified licensed persons. For example, one needs to be registered with OISC to provide immigration advice. A professional would have no hesitation in supplying or displaying their credentials  to an enquirer to their services.

Legal Information

Legal information is about providing general information about a topic that is not specific to a person in particular; anyone can use this information. Legal information  enables the enquirer to access the law. It is available through websites, leaflets, and books and referrals to free legal workshops, lawyers. Consultants can be persons who are qualified in law, non-practising solicitors, advocates or even business consultants.

Consultants often recognise a legal issue within a client’s presentation and recommend that licensed legal practitioners may help them. They are not allowed to interpret legal advice or complete legal documents, although they can scribe for a client. Legal support through consultations and information help accelerate a client’s enquiry by finding the case law or statutes that the person is looking for. Consultants complete administrative tasks such as scribing, writing letters of complaints, contacting professionals on behalf of the client. They provide information that will help a client decide whether or not to hire a solicitor or other legal professional.

Consultants first meeting with clients

Consultants can work independently or as part of organizations, societies or advice centres. What is important is that consultants explain their role and what the client can expect from the consultation. The consultation should specify at the outset whether it is legal advice or legal information.

Sometimes it is difficult to meet with a solicitor when you need them. They may be in high demand in your area. They may not specialise in the area of law that you need. The purpose of websites that advertise a range of solicitor practices and independent professionals to provide you with choice.  You may need legal advice or legal information depending on your circumstances.

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