Can We Talk? NSRLP’s Communications FocusNSRLP
“(W)e need to communicate much better with each one another about what really matters if we want to make the justice system and the legal profession better for everyone – and once we have had some practice, we need to talk with the public.” (https://representingyourselfcanada.com/2015/04/07/the-shut-up-culture-why-we-need-to-speak-openly-boldly-respectfully-to-one-other-about-what-really-matters/). NSRLP will be focusing on a theme of communication over the next three months. We believe that better communication – open, bold and respectful as above – is at the heart of our efforts to address the A2J crisis.
Each of us could do better – but we shall be highlighting just a few examples including, how lawyers communicate with clients about what is important to them; how the legal profession communicates with the public; how the judiciary communicates with individual SRLs and with the public; and how SRLs communicate with those working inside the justice system about their frustrations and needs.
NSRLP has always emphasized open communication among justice system stakeholders (for example our regular dialogue groups) and between system actors and the public (for example, drawing on our Speakers Bank and our broader database of SRLs: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/request-form/). NSRLP resources, available on the website, are all open source access, including our You Tube videos. We participate actively in multiple social media channels (join our twitter-verse discussions by adding the #a2j hashtag to your tweets).
Over the next few months we will be highlighting initiatives taking place across the country that focus on improving communication, exchanging and sharing information, and listening to the public. We shall also be promoting some specific initiatives, including a client feedback survey for lawyers. We shall be making the survey template available shortly on the NSRLP website for download to any lawyer or law firms wishing to gather data (private, anonymous) from their clients on how effectively they are communicating with them and meeting their needs.
There are many obstacles to open and effective communication including stereotypes, misunderstandings, language, and cultural barriers. NSRLP is committed to improving existing channels of communication and to encouraging new fora in which A2J issues can be debated and addressed, despite these challenges.