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Annual Report 2011 - 2012

Key partners at a glance

Although we are the main provider of legal services in New South Wales, we also work closely with private lawyers and other agencies to ensure clients receive the most appropriate services to help resolve their particular legal needs.

Private lawyers

Private lawyers provided 42.5% of all Legal Aid NSW case and duty services.

We work in partnership with private lawyers who receive funding from Legal Aid NSW to represent legally aided clients (see Partnership with private lawyers).

LawAccess NSW

LawAccess NSW referred 55,068 inquiries to Legal Aid NSW offices.

LawAccess NSW is a free service that assists customers over the phone to manage their legal problems. It provides them with legal information, managed referrals and, in some instances, legal advice. LawAccess is available to anybody in New South Wales. It is administered by the Department of Attorney General and Justice, and partly funded by Legal Aid NSW. The main areas people sought help with in 2011–2012 were family law parenting arrangements, debt, property settlement, wills, car accidents, neighbours and employment law.

National Legal Aid (NLA)

Advised the Australian Government on the impact of Commonwealth laws and policies on disadvantaged people around Australia.

NLA is comprised of the directors of the eight independent legal aid commissions in each of the Australian States and Territories (see National Legal Aid).

NSW Legal Assistance Forum (NLAF)

Worked with other public legal assistance agencies to increase the recruitment and retention of lawyers in rural, regional and remote areas of New South Wales, including the trial of delivering legal services via web-based conferencing.

This forum brings agencies responsible for legal aid service delivery together to work as members of targeted working groups to improve legal services for disadvantaged people in New South Wales (see NSW Legal Assistance Forum).

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)

Legal Aid NSW and the Aboriginal Legal Service commenced a web conferencing trial to improve the access of remote and rural Aboriginal clients to civil and family law advice and minor assistance (see Web conferencing trial).

Legal Aid NSW and the Aboriginal Legal Service share a Statement of Commitment ensuring that both agencies work together to address the legal needs of Aboriginal people in New South Wales (see Aboriginal community partnerships). The Aboriginal Legal Service is also a member of the Legal Aid Aboriginal Justice Committee.

Cooperative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) Program

Expanded the number of CLSD partnerships from 9 to 11 through new partnerships on the Mid North Coast.

The Program is a regionally based approach to legal service delivery. It develops partnerships between regionally based legal, community and government agencies through initiatives that increase access to legal assistance and services (see Regional partnerships).

Community Legal Centres (CLCs)

Evaluation of the Children’s Court Assistance Scheme operated by CLCs at eight Children’s Courts found the Scheme met its key objectives.

Legal Aid NSW administers funding to 36 generalist and specialist Community Legal Centres in New South Wales. Most provide general legal assistance but some provide specialist services (see Community Legal Centres Funding Program and Appendix 6).

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program

After recently expanding to cover 108 Local Courts, the program was able to provide more client services.

The Program works with the NSW Police Force, Local Courts and legal, health, welfare and accommodation services in the community to provide an integrated response to domestic violence (see Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program and Appendix 5).