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Doing legal aid work

Doing legal aid work

It is important that legal practitioners representing legal aid clients can communicate effectively. Legal Aid NSW acknowledges that a large proportion of our clients are:

  • people from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • may suffer with mental illness;
  • have disabilities;
  • from culturally diverse and non-English speaking backgrounds;
  • women;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • victims of domestic violence;
  • children and young people; and
  • people who are or have been in institutions;

and all experience difficulties when enforcing and defending their rights. It is important that legal practitioners representing such clients have an understanding of cross-cultural issues and issues facing socially and economically disadvantaged people and a capacity to communicate with and on behalf of vulnerable clients to deliver services that are inclusive and accessible.

For direct representation matters, barristers must ensure compliance with the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules, in particular Rule 22. A barrister appointed to the panel may decline to accept a direct representation offer of assignment if it is inappropriate to do the work without the involvement of an instructing solicitor.

Fee scales

Legal Aid NSW Fee Scales for work undertaken in State and/or Commonwealth funded matters can be found on our Fee Scales page.

Duty work

Eligibility to be placed on a roster to undertake duty work is dependent on the law practice being eligible to undertake work on the  relevant panel. This is a separate process to the panels process. Information and requirements regarding these schemes can be found on the Duty Solicitor Scheme webpage.

Back Up Duty Scheme (BUDS)

Local Courts serviced by a Legal Aid NSW office utilise the Back Up Duty Scheme (BUDS). Please see the BUDS page for further information.