As family law professionals, the language we use impacts everything we do. From the relationships we have with our peers and colleagues to how a client understands the advice we give and the legal options available to them.
Language also has a much wider impact: complex technical language in Court can make people feel alienated; inaccurate language in the media can mislead people about their rights; and language, in any context, which promotes conflict or reinforces the idea that family law is adversarial which can be damaging to everyone.
The Family Law Language Project (FLLP) was launched in November 2021 with the mission of making family law more accessible, less hostile and easier to understand for those involved. The FLLP highlights the importance of the way that we use language as professionals, suggests changes we can make to ensure language is properly communicated and understood as well as considering terms that might be outdated, offensive or commonly misused.
Where online platforms have become the primary method of communication in all elements of personal and professional life the way we choose to phrase messages and emails has become more prevalent than ever before. When face to face, we have many factors that help communicate what we mean that goes beyond words. We have facial expressions, body language and tone of voice that help to control how the message will be perceived. Written communication can be more volatile, and two individuals may read the same sentence with entirely different meanings.
OurFamilyWizard aims to be the bridge in communication. It puts an emphasis on specific dates, facts and times through its features and functions on one secure platform to help ensure that important issues surrounding the child(ren) do not get lost, confused or become delayed in getting resolved. Their ToneMeter© encourages users to consider how their choice of language will be perceived by another party, adding an additional level of conscience in communication before pressing send.
Language matters. This workshop will consider the importance and impact of language in family law and how this can be improved. It will explore ways to improve your own use of language and understand what tools are available to help clients and others improve how they communicate to reduce conflict. The workshop will be interactive, and informative and will provide an opportunity to get involved in discussion and debate.
We are delighted to have Emma Nash, Partner at Rayden Solicitors, Sophie Kay, Barrister at Coram Chambers and Tara Dunne, Legal Associate at OurFamilyWizard to discuss all things language at our upcoming conference.
If you would like to hear more on this topic, then do check out the rest of the speakers on the day and book your place here: https://todaysfamilylawyer.co.uk/todays-family-lawyer-conference-2023/
This article was submitted to be published by OurFamilyWizard as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Family Lawyer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Family Lawyer.