“How Can I Help You?” Clarifying Legal Advice/ Legal Information

“How Can I Help You?” Clarifying Legal Advice/ Legal Information

NSRLP – in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice Court Services and consultant John Greacen – recently completed a Legal Information/ Legal Advice pilot project that focused on clarifying the types of assistance and information that can be provided to SRLs by court services staff (“How Can I Help You?” Clarifying the Legal Advice/ Legal Information Distinction for Court Staff and the Public”, 2014).

Revised guidelines for distinguishing legal information from legal advice were used as the basis of a training program delivered to Nova Scotia court staff by John Greacen (an independent consultant who has worked with 21 US courts on this issue). Staff evaluations rated this training, and especially the clarification of the boundaries of legal information that they could provide, very highly.

The NSRLP worked with Greacen and Nova Scotia Justice to develop the new guidelines, and designed and collated short surveys completed by court users to measure satisfaction. While a longer-term post survey would more accurately capture the impact of the revised guidelines on customer satisfaction, this survey data showed high levels of satisfaction with the service provided by counter staff and appreciation for their assistance.


For more information about this project, go to this article in Nova Scotia’s

The Society Record


NSRLP is now talking with three other provinces about implementing similar pilot projects.

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