This paper has canvassed the assistance seeking behaviour of disadvantaged people with legal problems and the role non-legal services often play in response to this behaviour as revealed by the A2JLN research program. It has highlighted the dangers and difficulties of non-legal workers and services filling such a role, and offered strategies with the potential to address such dangers and increase the effectiveness of non-legal services as a gateway to legal assistance. However, the research has raised a number of questions that remain unanswered. These include:
- what is the cost of undertaking these strategies (both staffing and funding costs)?
- do such strategies have the potential to reduce the cost of providing legal assistance to disadvantaged people?
- do such strategies have the potential to improve the legal outcomes for disadvantaged people with legal problems?
- will there be sufficient support among both legal and non-legal workers and services to implement such strategies in an effective and worthwhile way?