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Annual Report 2020 - 2021

A snapshot of our services

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

Legal advice and assistance

Assistance We provided
advice and minor assistance services,

a 4.8% decrease on the previous year.

We offer free, targeted legal advice across many areas of law at our 25 offices, two satellite offices, and 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.

Our outreach services were significantly disrupted this year due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This disruption contributed to the decrease in advice and minor assistance services provided.

Extended assistance We provided
extended legal assistance services,

a 11.7% 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 had legal problems in priority areas of law.

Legal representation

Legal matters We provided representation in

a 9.2% increase on the previous year.
Legal Aid NSW We acted in
and we funded private lawyers to act in
29,704 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 toward their grant of aid.

On-the-spot help in courts and tribunals

Duty services We provided
duty services, a 2.2% decrease on the previous year.
Legal Aid NSW Of these services,
were provided by Legal Aid NSW lawyers,
and we funded private lawyers to provide the remaining 80,148 services.

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

Family dispute resolution

Conferences We held
a 6.7% decrease on the previous year.

We helped parties reach an agreement in 76.9 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 76.7 percent.

Hotline for young people

Hotline We answered
calls to our hotline for young people,
a 7.3% 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.

Resources and community legal education

Distributed We distributed
factsheets, brochures and other publications,
a 15.2% decrease on the previous year.
Resources Resources were viewed online
times, a 5.0% decrease on the previous year.
Education We provided
community legal education sessions,
a 27.7% decrease on the previous year.

Provision of resources and our community legal education sessions were impacted by COVID-19.