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Supporting Clients with Dyslexia: Navigating the Legal Landscape

Posted on 14th November 2023 in General

Posted by

Jessica Whittick

Supporting Clients with Dyslexia: Navigating the Legal Landscape

Dyslexia is a neurological difference that can have a significant impact on an individual during their legal journey. Whilst it primarily affects reading and writing skills, dyslexia is actually about information processing. Everyone’s experience of dyslexia is unique, and it is estimated that 1 in 10 people are affected in the UK.

As a lawyer with dyslexia, I understand the challenges that individuals face when engaging with a solicitor and my personal journey has equipped me with a deep understanding of the obstacles that clients may encounter when trying to navigate the legal landscape. Tozers are committed to providing support and tailored legal guidance to ensure that clients voices are heard and legal needs are met.

Dyslexia can impact upon an individual’s ability to organise their thoughts and transfer them onto paper

Engaging with a solicitor for the first time can be a daunting process. Tozers offer a supportive and patient environment, allowing clients to express their thoughts and concerns at their own pace.

In the Litigation & Employment team, for example, you can make an enquiry and speak to a lawyer in a preliminary no-obligation phone call. This will enable our expert lawyers to ask you a series of questions to obtain key information from you, understand your objectives and consider how we can help. You can ask us to follow up with a short email. Once instructed we can provide guidance on how to piece together important information and documents and a timeline/fact find might be used for a visual aid.

Some individuals may ask lots of questions or may require additional time to think of questions to ask their solicitor. We will offer a variety of different fee options where possible, including fixed fees, to ensure that we can communicate effectively and give you certainty of our costs.

Dyslexic people may find it difficult processing and remembering information they see and hear

This can affect the ease in which an individual is able to read longer texts and fully absorb text without rereading it several times. Dyslexic people have to work harder to overcome daily challenges. When they are tired, dyslexic ‘symptoms’ can be more pronounced as the individual does not have the energy to employ their usual coping strategies. We provide clear explanations of legal concepts, breaking down complex information into more manageable parts and when drafting documents, we can ensure that your ideas are effectively communicated and understood.

It can also be difficult to answer longwinded questions without clarification. At Tozers we offer a variety of different communication methods, including phone calls, video calls and written correspondence. Long phone calls to discuss legal advice may be difficult to follow because of dyslexic processing and concentration. We can adapt our legal services to provide you with an outline of our advice before we speak so that you have a concise document to refer to and can prepare any questions in advance.

Dyslexia can impact organisation skills

This can impact time management skills and concentration. Individuals may struggle with planning and prioritising tasks, leading to difficulties in meeting deadlines and staying focused on their legal matters. At Tozers we can assist you in creating structured information about timescales and breaking down longer tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. I find that using clear headings in email correspondence such as “Action required by you” and “Next steps” helps clients navigate the legal process with greater efficiency and confidence.

Many dyslexic people show strengths in areas such as reasoning and in visual and creative fields

Dyslexia is my super power and dyslexic strengths include problem solving, high levels of empathy, excellent big picture thinking and being observant. According to a study by Professor Julie Logan of Cass Business School in London, between 20-40% of entrepreneurs have dyslexia. In the Litigation & Employment team at Tozers we regularly work with dyslexic individuals and support them with their intellectual property. It can be a driving force behind an entrepreneur’s passion and motivation and dyslexic entrepreneurs are often highly motivated to make a positive impact on their industries and communities.

Next steps

At Tozers we adapt our practices, offering bespoke advice, to identify and meet the needs of our clients who may have a disability. As a Disability Confident organisation we play a leading role in changing attitudes, behaviours and cultures in our business to improve our inclusive recruitment practices and increase our understanding of disability.

Contact our expert lawyers today by making an enquiry. We encourage you to let us know how you would like us to provide information and any adjustments that you require. 

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