Go to content

Annual Report 2015 - 2016

Key partners at a glance

We work closely with legal and non-legal service providers to improve access to legal services for disadvantaged communities. This year:

Private lawyers

provided 41.2% 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 Private lawyers.

LawAccess NSW

made 45,521 referrals to Legal Aid NSW offices.*

LawAccess NSW is a free service that helps customers over the phone to manage their legal problems. It provides them with legal information, managed referrals and, in some instances, legal advice. LawAccess NSW is available to everyone in New South Wales. It is administered by the Department of Justice, and partly funded by Legal Aid NSW.

A person can contact LawAccess NSW, receive legal information over the phone and may be referred to Legal Aid NSW for further advice or to access a duty service or outreach service.

The main areas people sought help with in 2015–2016 were debt, family law parenting arrangements, neighbours, wills, apprehended domestic violence orders, property settlement, employment and car accidents.

icon of finger pointing*This is down from 60,300 referrals last year due to fewer calls from prisoners after Legal Aid NSW streamlined the referral service; and reduced funding to LawAccess NSW from the Public Purpose Fund. This has also prompted the implementation of strategies aimed at diverting more customers to LawAccess NSW online resources, where appropriate.

National Legal Aid (NLA)

developed a national website to enhance the quality of practice of Independent Children’s Lawyers.

This forum of the eight independent legal aid commissions in each of the Australian states and territories engages nationally with governments, stakeholders and the community about best practice in legal aid and related issues. See National Legal Aid.

NSW Legal Assistance Forum members

worked together to increase access to legal services for parents and children involved in Compulsory Schooling Order Proceedings in the Children’s Court and Education Act prosecutions in the Local Court.

This forum brings together the agencies responsible for legal assistance services to collaborate in targeted working groups on improving legal services for disadvantaged people in New South Wales. See National Legal Assistance Forum.

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd

delivered Aboriginal cultural awareness seminars at Legal Aid NSW conferences.

Legal Aid NSW and the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ ACT) Ltd share a statement of commitment that both agencies work together to address the legal needs of Aboriginal people in New South Wales. The Aboriginal Legal Service is also a member of the Legal Aid NSW Aboriginal Justice Committee. See Aboriginal community partnerships.

Cooperative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) Program

developed a new regional partnership in Moree to give people access to additional legal services.

The CLSD Program is a regionally-based approach to legal service delivery. It develops partnerships between regional legal, community and government agencies to increase collaboration between legal assistance and related services. See CLSD program.

Community Legal Centres (CLCs)

Legal Aid NSW assumed a greater responsibility for direct program management of CLCs, taking over from the Commonwealth Government.

Legal Aid NSW administers funding to 36 generalist and specialist Community Legal Centres in New South Wales. See Community Legal Centres.

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs)

assisted 73% more women than last year with early intervention and support at court as a result of the new NSW Government Justice Strategy.

The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services work with the NSW Police Force, Victims Services, Local Courts and legal, health, welfare and accommodation services in the community.

The service provides an integrated response to domestic violence. The 28 WDVCASs are administered by the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program. See WDVCAP.