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Annual Report 2013 - 2014

Client services

Legal Aid NSW responded to clients’ changing needs, taking into account the implications for disadvantaged people in New South Wales of new legislation and policies.

Client working at Reverse Garbage as part of the Work and Development Order scheme to work off debt

Retail manager Aspasia Leonarder from Reverse Garbage supervises a client to work off his debt. The Legal Aid NSW Work and Development Order Service works with State Debt Recovery and the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd to assist organisations like Reverse Garbage to become sponsors and refers eligible clients to organisations. See Working off fines debt. Photographer: Penny Clay.

Key measures

  • Took part in a program that assisted disadvantaged people clear outstanding fines debt.
  • Developed new early intervention services that keep people out of court.
  • Increased the number of outreach advice clinics to 194—18.3% more than last year.
  • Advised nearly 240 people in the 2013 bush fires in the Blue Mountains.
  • Set up a new service to help young people with complex legal needs.
  • Made 26 law reform submissions.
  • Settled over 90% of family dispute matters through a court-based mediation scheme.
  • Developed a Law Check-Up tool to improve referrals from community workers.
  • Lodged 68 appeals for prisoners under the Muldrock review

Key challenge for the year ahead

With very high demand for our services, we will need to make choices to ensure our services are strategic and targeted, reaching the most vulnerable people in the community.