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Annual Report 2016 - 2017

Key partners at a glance

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

Private lawyers

Private lawyers provided 43.2 per cent 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.

LawAccess NSW

LawAccess NSW made 53,034 referrals to Legal Aid NSW offices compared with 43,368 last year.

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 NSW is available to everyone in New South Wales. It is administered by the Department of Justice, and partly funded by Legal Aid NSW. Anyone 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. Depending on a person’s level of disadvantage and legal need, they may then be assisted to obtain a grant of legal aid for a dispute resolution conference or representation in court for complex litigation.

The main areas people sought help with in 2016–2017 were debt, family law parenting arrangements, neighbours, wills, apprehended domestic violence orders, property settlement, employment and car accidents.

National Legal Aid (NLA)

Implemented a new national Family Advocacy and Support Service at family law court registries responding to recommendations of the Third National Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

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.

NSW Legal Assistance Forum (NLAF)

Resourced 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.

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd

Trauma-informed practice training took place in readiness for the New South Wales Reparations Scheme.

Legal Aid NSW and the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd share a statement of commitment ensuring that both agencies work together to address the legal needs of Aboriginal people in New South Wales.

Cooperative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) Program

A Northern Rivers project has the potential to improve legal outcomes for families.

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

Community Legal Centres (CLCs)

Community Legal Centres welcomed the new funding announced by the State and Commonwealth Governments.

Legal Aid NSW administers funding to 32 generalist and specialist Community Legal Centres and their peak body in New South Wales.

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs)

The Services rolled out Safer Pathway —a new service model to 21 more locations across the state and launched a new 1800 number.

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services work with the NSW Police Force, Victims Services, New South Wales Local Courts and legal, health, welfare and accommodation services in the community. These Services provide an integrated response to women and children impacted by domestic and family violence. The 28 WDVCASs are administered by the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program within Legal Aid NSW.