Partnering with a legal expert

Are you partnering with a law firm, community legal centre or other subject matter expert to deliver your Victorian Law Week activity?

There are some important things that are worth discussing with any prospective partner from the outset, to make sure you establish an effective working relationship.

It’s a good idea to make sure that everyone is aware that:

The activity should be tailored to your target audience

Let your prospective partner know who your target audience is. Is there anything they should know about your audience’s needs and capabilities?

This will help your partner tailor their information or advice to your specific audience, and communicate it in a way that’s suitable for them.

Attendees must receive meaningful information or advice during the activity

When formulating your activity, make sure that there are useful take-aways for attendees.

All legal advice and information must be provided entirely free of charge for activities in the Victorian Law Week program.

Do you want to offer private legal consultations?

Some private law firms may be used to offering the first 30 minutes of an appointment free of charge, and then charging for the remainder of the appointment. This model cannot be used for consultations included in the Victorian law Week program – attendees should not be charged at all for attending a Victorian Law Week activity.

It’s fine to impose a time limit on appointments – in fact, we recommend doing so! When setting the appointment duration, just make sure there is enough time to obtain instructions and provide meaningful preliminary information or advice during the appointment.

It might also be helpful to set some parameters around what can be covered during the appointment, to make it more manageable. For example, instead of a law firm offering to provide advice on any wills or estate planning matter, they might simply offer to review a will or a power of attorney and provide advice on what needs updating.

Of course, attendees may choose to obtain further (paid) advice from the law firm after the Victorian Law Week activity.

It’s important to use language that your target audience understands

Think carefully about the language used in marketing materials and during your event or activity itself.

Legal experts may assume that the language they use every day is generally understood by people in the wider community. That’s not always the case.  

For example, the phrase ‘family law’ might seem simple, but it’s actually an industry term. For some audience groups, words and phrases such as ‘divorce’, ‘relationship breakdown’ or even ‘split up with your partner’ might be much easier to understand.

When you’re working out what language to use, it can be helpful to ask: What words would my target audience type into Google if they were looking for information about the topic?

There are resources available to help with planning and delivering your activity

The Victorian Law Week team produces resources to help our event organisers run effective community legal education activities.

If you have registered an activity, then the primary contact you nominate will receive emails with links to written resources and invitations to webinars. Be sure to share all relevant resources with your partner.

If you’ve not yet registered an activity but would like to keep up to date with all the latest information, contact us and ask to be added to the event organiser mailing list.