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Research Report: Data digest
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Section 1. Legal assistance services


Section 1 is divided into three chapters. Each chapter has an overview section that summarises the main findings and notes any common patterns across services, followed by the descriptive and chi-square results for each service.
  • Chapter 1 describes the pattern of inquiries to each service across broad and specific areas of law, and across years.
  • Chapter 2 presents the results for each demographic variable for each service. There is an overview section for each demographic variable.
  • Chapter 3 presents the results pertaining to source of inquiry and referral destination.

The legal assistance services included in Section 1 are shown in Table 8, with more detail in Appendix 1.

Table 8:  Legal assistance services included in Section 1
RoleDataCalendar Years
Legal Aid NSW
Assists socially and economically disadvantaged people to understand and protect their legal rights. Services include free legal advice and minor assistance in all areas of law, grants of legal aid, alternative dispute resolution, a domestic violence court assistance program and community legal education programs.
Information/Advice Service: Telephone and in person information, advice or minor assistance. Note that when data is only collected for either information or advice inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Information Service or Legal Aid NSW Advice Service is used. Duty Solicitor Service: Advice or representation for clients on their first appearance in the Local Court. 2000-2002
LawAccess NSW
A free service providing a single point of access to legal and related assistance services in New South Wales. LawAccess NSW provides legal information, advice and referral services via a central call centre and the Internet. The service is available to anyone who has a legal problem in NSW. Priority for legal advice is given to customers with urgent inquiries, with disabilities, from non-English speaking backgrounds or from rural and regional areas.
All information and advice inquiries.2002
NSW Community Legal Centres Independent, non-profit organisations providing access to legal information and services, particularly for disadvantaged sectors of the community. Services include legal information, advice, casework, representation, community legal education, advice to government on policy issues, law reform and referral. Information/Advice: Once-off information or advice about legal and non-legal issues. May include counselling, advocacy or drafting of simple correspondence. Case: Ongoing assistance, including acting on behalf of a client. Only NSW generalist and specialist community legal centres funded by the Commonwealth Government are included.1999-2002
Chamber Magistrate Service
Provides information about legal options and court proceedings, but does not represent people appearing before the Court. Anybody is able to use the service. Available at all Local Courts across NSW. Some outreach services are provided.
Inquiries to Chamber Magistrates.1999-2001


Scott, S, Eyland, A , Gray, A, Zhou, A & Coumarelos, C 2004, Data digest, a compendium of services usage data from NSW legal assistance and dispute resolution services 1999-2002, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2004