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Annual Report 2018 - 2019

Key partners at a glance

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

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

Private lawyers provided 105,617 case and duty services on our behalf, representing 42.2% of all Legal Aid NSW case and duty services in 2018–19.
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Legal Aid NSW administers funding to 32 generalist and specialist community legal centres, as well as the peak body, Community Legal Centres NSW, through its Community Legal Centre Program.

The Legal Aid NSW Community Legal Centre Program implemented a new application-based process for allocating funds to community legal centres, after the NSW Attorney General announced record NSW Government funding of more than $40 million for the community legal sector over three years
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Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services work with the NSW Police Force, Victims Services, NSW Local Courts and legal, health, welfare and accommodation services in the community. They provide integrated support to women and children affected by domestic and family violence.

The services completed the rollout of Safer Pathway and supported 47,902 women.
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The Cooperative Legal Service Delivery 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 services and related services. Under the Regional Outreach Clinic Program, Legal Aid NSW funds private and community legal centre legal practitioners to provide legal services to communities that have limited access to public legal services, and where it would not be efficient for Legal Aid NSW to provide an outreach service.

The number of advice services delivered in regional locations where communities may struggle to access legal services more than doubled this year under the Regional Outreach Clinic Program.
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National Legal Aid is a single voice for the eight independent legal aid commissions in Australia. It is a forum for national engagement with governments, stakeholders and the community, and supports legal aid commissions to collaborate and follow best practice in relation to the provision of legal aid.

Legal Aid NSW launched a national website on behalf of National Legal Aid to help people escaping domestic violence access reliable information about the law.
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This forum brings together agencies and organisations responsible for legal assistance services in NSW to collaborate and improve legal services for disadvantaged people.

The NSW Legal Assistance Forum established a working group to develop a more comprehensive approach to collaborative service-planning in NSW that focuses on the delivery of legal assistance to priority clients and ensures services are provided in areas of greatest need.
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Legal Aid NSW and the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) are parties to a statement of commitment designed to ensure our agencies work together to address the legal needs of Aboriginal people in NSW.

We continued rolling out our Aboriginal cultural competency workshops, which we developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Legal Service, to regional NSW.


LawAccess NSW is a free helpline that helps people in NSW manage their legal problems by providing legal information, managed referrals and, in some circumstances, legal advice over the telephone. LawAccess NSW was previously part of the NSW Department of Justice and received funding from a range of sources, including Legal Aid NSW. In May 2019, the NSW Attorney General agreed to a request by the Secretary of the Department of Justice and the CEO of Legal Aid NSW for LawAccess NSW to join Legal Aid NSW in 2019–20. Integrating LawAccess NSW and Legal Aid NSW will help simplify access to legal assistance and ensure people receive the right level of service at the right time. In the year to come, we will work to ensure LawAccess NSW is the first point of contact for legal assistance in NSW.

LawAccess NSW made 60,275 referrals to Legal Aid NSW in 2018–19, compared with 64,649 referrals the previous year.

The main areas in which people sought help from LawAccess NSW in 2018–19 were debt, family law parenting matters, disputes with neighbours, wills, fines and car accidents.