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Annual Report 2011 - 2012

Overview

Legal Aid NSW is the largest legal aid agency in Australia.

We provide a range of legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged people through our Central Sydney office and 21 regional offices around New South Wales.

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

We are an independent statutory body reporting to the NSW Attorney General, the Hon Greg Smith SC.

Our role

Legal Aid NSW helps people to understand and protect their legal rights. We do this through advice, advocacy, representation and education, focusing on disadvantaged people and communities.

Our priorities

  • Promoting access to justice
  • Pursuing excellence in legal services
  • Supporting our people
  • Linking services

Our commitment

We are committed to:

  • providing an expert service
  • being inclusive and respectful
  • making a difference

Our history

Our organisation was established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979. Recent years have seen considerable growth in advice and minor assistance services, the development of cutting edge community legal education programs and the establishment of specialist services across legal practice areas.

About this report

This annual report reviews and reports our activities and performance, including what we set out to do in our Legal Aid NSW Plan for 2011–2013, based on four key priorities – Promoting Access to Justice; Pursuing Excellence in Legal Services; Supporting our People; and Linking Services.

Achievements in this report are aligned with focus areas from the plan such as service expansion in regional and remote areas, early intervention strategies, better information and referral services, and strong partnerships so we can respond better to clients’ changing legal needs.

This report incorporates all operational activities of our organisation, including joint initiatives. It reflects our commitment to effective corporate governance through openness and accountability and provides an account of our revenue and how we have used public funds.

As well as the year past, the report looks to the year ahead and comments on the challenges facing Legal Aid NSW in a difficult economic climate. In this report we refer to ourselves as Legal Aid NSW.

Last year’s annual report received a Gold Award from the Australasian Reporting Awards - our fifth Gold Award.

This is our thirty-third annual report. This and some earlier annual reports are available on the Legal Aid NSW website.

Printed copies are available on request by contacting us on (02) 9219 5028.

"This year our annual report is available in HTML as well as the traditional pdf format. The HTML version is designed to be quick to view, easy to navigate and reference, and provide a better overall user experience. The new accessible online format has allowed us to reduce the number of printed reports and make cost savings."