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Annual Report 2019 - 2020

Year-on-year trends – a snapshot

We provided a range of services to help people in NSW to know, defend, and assert their rights.

Resources and community legal education

Distributed We distributed
495,680
factsheets, brochures and other publications,
a 15.8% decrease on the previous year.
Resources Resources were viewed online
719,100
times, an 8.4% decrease on the previous year.
Education We provided
1,789
community legal education sessions,
a 34.3% decrease on the previous year.

We presented our community legal education sessions to 44,517 participants. Provision of resources and our community legal education sessions this year were impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal advice and assistance

Assistance We provided
125,001
advice and minor assistance services,

a 9.8% decrease on the previous year.

We offer free, targeted legal advice across many areas of law at our 25 offices and 243 regular outreach locations around the state. In some circumstances, our lawyers will also provide minor assistance by writing a letter or helping clients fill out court documents.

Extended assistance We provided
950
extended legal assistance services,

a 12.2% increase on the previous year.

Extended legal assistance was introduced in 2017–2018 with the aim of achieving early legal resolution for people with multiple legal problems, or vulnerable people who have legal problems in priority areas of law.

On-the-spot help in courts and tribunals

Duty services We provided
202,113
duty services, a 5.2% decrease on the previous year.
Legal Aid NSW Of these services,
125,463
were provided by Legal Aid NSW lawyers,
and we funded private lawyers to provide the remaining 76,650 services.

We make duty lawyers available in courts and tribunals throughout NSW to provide free legal help and representation to eligible clients.

Legal representation

Legal matters We provided representation in
38,933
matters,

a 5.0% increase on the previous year.
Legal Aid NSW We acted in
12,955
matters,
and we funded private lawyers to act in
25,978 matters.

Legal Aid NSW represents eligible clients in criminal law, family law and civil law matters. In most cases, our legal representation services are means tested, and most people who receive a grant of legal aid will be required to pay a contribution towards their grant of aid.

Family dispute resolution

Conferences We held
2,708
conferences,
a 5.9% decrease on the previous year.

We helped parties reach an agreement in 76.1 percent* of conferences.

Legal Aid NSW is the largest provider of legally assisted dispute resolution mediations in Australia. We provide family dispute resolution services to help separating families resolve disputes, such as parenting, adoption or property matters, early on in proceedings and without the need to go to court.

* This includes family law conferences in both NSW and Commonwealth jurisdictions. The Commonwealth-only rate was 75.6 percent.

Hotline for young people

Hotline We answered
18,878
calls to our hotline for young people,
a 14.9% increase on the previous year.

The Legal Aid NSW Youth Hotline provides legal advice, minor assistance and information to young people aged under 18. Lawyers are available to answer calls until midnight on weekdays and through the night on weekends and public holidays.