What is legal literacy and why is it important?

by Jacqui Brauman

What is legal literacy and why is it important?

by Jacqui Brauman

by Jacqui Brauman

Just like financial literacy, legal literacy is really life-changing for women. 

When a woman can understand what they’re facing, when they understand how to interact with the system, when they understand what resources they have, when they have a few more skills around negotiation and being able to enforce or advocate for themselves and what they want – they not only change their own lives, but they advocate for the lives of those around them.

The lack of legal literacy is causing women to not get legal advice when they should be. 

About 83% of women who have a legal problem of some kind do not get professional advice when they have that problem. 

It can be for all sorts of reasons, but primarily, I also think it’s fear. 

Fear comes from not understanding the system, and having the uncertainty around what to expect and not knowing where to start. 

All of these things can be resolved in legal literacy.

If we can get more women engaging when they have an issue, instead of putting their head in the sand and wishing things to go away, and letting go of their rights, it’s just going to be so much better for women, their families, their future generations. 

Having empowered women means their children see them more competent in being able to deal with things themselves as well, so there is a flow on effect to increasing the legal literacy of women.

That is what Legally Wise Women is all about, trying to get women to engage with the legal industry in a way that is actually going to be productive and they’re not going to get ripped off, so they know their alternatives, they know where to start, they know how to find and hire their right lawyer, and they’re not going in blind. 

They understand how the fees work, they understand how to negotiate. They understand some strategy. The central purpose for Legally Wise Women in many ways is to improve legal literacy. 

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