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Toward integration for Legal Aid NSW and LawAccess NSW

6 Mar 2020

LawAccess NSW is becoming part of Legal Aid NSW in 2020.

The integration of our organisations offers a unique opportunity to make it quicker and easier for people in NSW to access the legal help they need. By streamlining telephone entry points and ensuring our services are complementary and our processes are consistent, we want to ensure that people get access to the right service, quickly.

Together, Legal Aid NSW and LawAccess NSW receive nearly one million calls annually from people seeking help with legal issues. However, analysis has shown that these calls reach us through more than 53 phone numbers, and many callers are bounced between services before they reach the help they need. Entry can be confusing and time-consuming for people.

Our integration will reposition LawAccess NSW as the gateway for legal assistance for the public in NSW, providing information and triaging referrals to Legal Aid NSW, community legal centres, the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) and other partners.

We have now taken the first steps toward integration. LawAccess NSW staff now have access to key Legal Aid NSW systems, and staff from both organisations have refined triage and workflows. From this month, all new clients calling our Blacktown and Port Macquarie offices will be diverted to LawAccess NSW for triage.

During the transition period, these offices will continue to take calls directly from existing clients and partners including private lawyers.

Feedback we receive during this initial transition period will inform the future rollout of our integration.