Note: the original hard copy of this report is 164 pages .

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Data digest: a compendium of service usage data from NSW legal assistance and dispute resolution services, 1999-2002   

, 2004 Analyses data collected by the main publicly funded NSW legal service providers on the nature of inquiries received, the demographic characteristics of inquirers and the pathways they took to resolve their issues.


Appendix 5: Tables - legal assistance services


Table 5-1:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and area of law
Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
Area of law
Male
Female
BroadSpecific
%
%
FamilyTotal Family
24.8
50.6
CrimeGeneral crime
27.9
9.1
Domestic violence
2.4
2.3
Traffic offences
5.4
2
Total Crime
35.7
13.4
CivilBusiness/Media
0.9
0.8
Consumers
2
1.9
Credit/Debt
5
5
Employment
3
2.5
Government/Legal system
10.1
5.3
Health/Human rights
1.6
1.6
Housing
2.8
3.6
Motor vehicles
2.3
2
Personal injury
1.2
1.7
Wills/Estates
1.8
3.4
Other (civil)
8.6
8.3
Total Civil
39.5
36
Total (%)
100
100
Total (No.)
100 308
121 363
Notes:  N = 221671. Information about gender was missing for an additional 393 (0.1%) inquiries.
Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-2:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
Area of law
Male
Female
BroadSpecific
%
%
FamilyAll Family
16.1
34.5
CrimeGeneral crime
6.6
4.7
Domestic violence
2
7.5
Traffic offences
2.9
0.9
All Crime
11.5
13.1
CivilBusiness/Media
0.9
0.6
Consumers
5.6
4
Credit/Debt
6.9
5
Employment
6.2
3.4
Government/Legal system
28.9
17.9
Health/Human rights
3.4
2.7
Housing
10.2
9.1
Motor vehicles
2.7
1.4
Personal Injury
0.5
0.6
Wills/Estates
1.8
2.1
Civil-other
5.1
5.6
All Civil
72.3
52.4
Total (%)
100
100
Total (No.)
128 712
232 684
Notes:  N = 361396. Information about gender was missing for an additional 19422 (5.1%) inquiries.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National information Scheme (unpublished data).

Table 5-3:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
Age (years)
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
0 to 14
14.3
54.7
31
100
15 to 17
2.2
94.2
3.6
100
18 to 24
25.6
56.7
17.7
100
25 to 34
54.6
23.6
21.8
100
35 to 44
57.5
17
25.5
100
45 to 54
46.6
14.3
39.1
100
55 to 64
30.7
12.1
57.2
100
65 to 74
22.2
9.9
67.9
100
75 and over
7.5
7.6
84.9
100
All
43.1
26.8
30.1
100
Notes:  N = 122651. Information about age was missing for an additional 865 (0.7%) inquiries for the Advice Service.
Age was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-4:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
LawAccess NSW, 2002
Age (years)
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
Under 25
26.2
26.9
47
100
25 to 34
22.9
17.3
59.8
100
35 to 44
32
14.8
53.1
100
45 to 54
22.2
14.8
63
100
55 to 64
17.5
12.8
69.8
100
65 and over
11.9
8.5
79.6
100
Notes:  N = 11093. Information about age was missing for an additional 50007 (81.8%) inquiries.
Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-5:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
Age (years)
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
0 to 17
10.5
19.7
69.8
100
18 to 20
11.5
31.4
57.1
100
21 to 30
25.7
16.8
57.4
100
31 to 40
36
12.7
51.4
100
41 to 50
33.2
11.9
54.9
100
51 to 65
20
10
70.1
100
66 & over
7.1
4.8
88.1
100
Notes:  N = 379481. Information about age was missing for 208715 (55%) inquiries (age was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
Age groups are those provided by the National Information Service. They do not correspond to the groupings used for other services.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Table 5-6:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
Country of Birth
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
English speakingAustralia
45
30.7
24.4
100
New Zealand
44.8
36.8
18.4
100
United Kingdom/Ireland
49
19.8
31.2
100
North America
52.8
20.8
26.4
100
Total English speaking
45.2
30.4
24.5
100
Non-English speakingaPacific Islands
40.2
32.6
27.2
100
Asia
40.7
17.6
41.7
100
Sub-Saharan Africa
36.8
18.9
44.2
100
North Africa/Middle East
37.4
18.1
44.5
100
South/Central America
45.6
15.4
38.9
100
Europe
36.7
17.1
46.1
100
Total non-English speaking
39.2
18.8
42
100
All
43.6
27.4
29
100
a  Includes South Africa.
Notes:  N = 77043. Infomration about country of birth was missing for an additional 46519 (38%) inquiries for the Advice
Service. The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4. Country of birth was not collected for the 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-7:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
Country of birth
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
English speakingAustralia
31.9
14.8
53.3
100
New Zealand
26.9
14.1
59
100
United Kingdom/Ireland
26.8
9.2
64.1
100
North America
18.9
7.4
73.6
100
Total English speaking
31.2
14.3
54.4
100
Non-English speakingaPacific Islands
19.8
9.5
70.7
100
East Asia
18.9
8.6
72.5
100
South/Central Asia
12.1
4.6
83.3
100
Sub-Saharan Africa
15.8
7.5
76.7
100
North Africa/Middle East
17.1
8
74.9
100
South/Central America
20.2
7.7
72.1
100
Europe
18.4
9.7
71.9
100
Total non-English speaking
17.9
8.3
73.8
100
All
27.5
12.7
59.9
100
a  Includes South Africa
Notes:  N = 380619. Information about country of birth was missing for 162112 (43%) inquiries (country of birth was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Table 5-8:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous status and area of law
Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
Area of law
Indigenous Australians
Non Indigenous Australians
All
BroadSpecific
%
%
%
FamilyTotal Family
30.9
43.2
42.9
CrimeGeneral crime
36.1
21.8
22.1
Domestic violence
1.6
1.7
1.7
Traffic offences
1.8
3
3
Total Crime
39.6
26.5
26.8
CivilBusiness/Media
0.6
0.6
0.6
Consumers
2.4
1.6
1.6
Credit/Debt
2.7
3.1
3.1
Employment
1.6
1.6
1.6
Government/Legal system
8.4
8.8
8.8
Health/Human rights
1.6
1.1
1.2
Housing
1.6
2.2
2.2
Motor vehicles
1.2
1.7
1.7
Personal injury
2.6
1.1
1.2
Wills/Estates
1.4
1.4
1.4
Civil-other
5.3
7
6.9
Total Civil
29.5
30.3
30.3
Total (%)
100
100
100
Notes:  N = 123562. Information about Indigenous status was missing for an additional 15683 (11%) inquiries for
the Advice Service. Indigenous status was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-9:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous status and area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
Area of law
Indigenous Australians
Non Indigenous Australians
All
BroadSpecific
%
%
%
FamilyTotal Family
36.7
34.4
34.5
CrimeGeneral crime
11.8
5.7
6
Domestic violence
11.4
7.2
7.4
Traffic offences
1.4
1.8
1.7
Total Crime
24.6
14.6
15.1
CivilBusiness/Media
0.6
0.5
0.5
Consumers
3.3
4.7
4.6
Credit/Debt
6.2
6.5
6.5
Employment
4
4.2
4.2
Government/Legal system
9.6
18.2
17.8
Health/Human rights
4.7
2.6
2.8
Housing
4.8
7.8
7.6
Motor vehicles
1.3
2.1
2.1
Personal injury
0.9
0.7
0.7
Wills/Estates
1.4
2.1
2
Civil-other
1.8
1.5
1.6
Total Civil
38.7
51
50.4
Total (%)
100
100
100
Total (No.)
10 061
191 324
201 385
Note:  Information about Indigenous status was missing for 179234 (47%) inquiries (Indigenous status was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Table 5-10:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and area of law
Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
Area of lawSource of income
BroadSpecific
No income %
Government benefits %
Paid employment %
FamilyTotal Family
7.6
33.6
62.4
CrimeGeneral crime
7.8
29.1
8.5
Domestic violence
0.6
1.7
1.7
Traffic offences
0.5
3.8
1.6
Total Crime
8.9
34.7
11.8
CivilBusiness/Media
0.6
0.7
0.5
Consumers
1.5
1.6
1.6
Credit/Debt
3.9
3
3.3
Employment
0.6
2.1
0.7
Government/Legal system
61.9
10.5
3.6
Health/Human rights
0.3
0.9
1.8
Housing
2.6
2
2.7
Motor vehicles
0.8
1.7
1.5
Personal injury
1.2
1.1
1.4
Wills/Estates
3.6
1.2
1.7
Other (Civil)
6.6
6.9
6.9
Total Civil
83.5
31.7
25.8
Total (%)
100
100
100
Total (No.)
1 264
81 332
40 965
Notes:  N = 123561. Information about source of income was missing for an additional 38304 (31%) inquiries. The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4. Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-11:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
Area of lawSource of income
BroadSpecific
No income %
Government benefits %
Employed
(PT) %
Employed (Self / temp)%
Employed (Full time) %
All %
FamilyTotal Family
24.5
35.7
42.2
26.6
32.4
34.6
CrimeGeneral crime
7.3
6.6
4.8
4.1
4
5.9
Domestic violence
4.7
8.2
7
3.7
5.3
7.1
Traffic offences
1.6
1.6
2
2.2
2.1
1.7
Total Crime
13.6
16.3
13.9
10
11.4
14.7
CivilBusiness/media
0.4
0.5
0.6
1.5
0.4
0.5
Consumers
2.7
4.4
4.9
14.5
7.4
5.2
Credit/Debt
3.6
7.7
6.4
13.4
7.8
7.4
Employment
8.1
2.1
5.3
4.5
6.9
4
Government/Legal system
36.7
14
13
12.3
15.3
16.1
Health/Human rights
3.3
3
2.5
2.1
3
2.9
Housing
2.7
4.4
5.2
8.4
9.7
5.5
Motor vehicles
1.5
2
2.6
2.2
2.5
2.1
Personal Injury
0.6
0.8
0.6
0.3
0.5
0.7
Wills/Estates
1.1
2.5
1.7
1.8
1.5
2.1
Civil-other
1.2
6.5
1.3
2.3
1.3
4.4
Total Civil
61.9
47.9
43.9
63.4
56.2
50.7
Total (%)
100
100
100
100
100
100
Total (No.)
17 361
113 380
22 463
6 022
35 419
194 645
Note:  Information about source of income was missing for 185974 (49%) inquiries (source of income was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Table 5-12:  Source of inquiry
Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
Source of inquiry
2000 %
2001 %
2002 %
All %
Non-legalFriend/Family
35.3
36.9
33.3
35.2
Media
4.7
4.1
3.2
4
Telephone book
15.5
14.5
6.5
12.2
Publication
2.2
1.8
0.7
1.6
Community organisation
6.2
4.6
3.2
4.7
Government
9.8
9.9
10.8
10.2
Police
8.3
13.4
29.7
17.1
Total non-legal
82
85.2
87.4
85
Legal Community legal centre
2.3
2.1
1.5
2
LawAccess/Legal Aid helpline
4
2.3
1.2
2.6
Solicitor
3.2
2.8
2.3
2.8
Court
8.4
7.5
7.5
7.8
Total legal
17.9
14.7
12.5
15
Total (%)
100
100
100
100
Total (No.)
16 773
15 886
16 228
48 887
Notes:  Source of inquiry was not collected for an additional 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
In 65% of inquiries, the source of inquiry was recorded as ‘Other’. These have been excluded from the analysis.
LawAccess NSW took over from the Legal Aid NSW helpline in October 2001.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-13:  Source of inquiry by broad area of law
Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
Source of inquiry
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
Non-legalFriend/Family
52.9
11.6
35.5
100
Media
53.4
8.2
38.4
100
Phone book
42.2
11.4
46.5
100
Publication
41.2
31.5
27.3
100
Community organisation
51.3
16.2
32.5
100
Government
89.6
1.2
9.2
100
Police
6.2
90.7
3
100
LegalCommunity legal centre
53.8
7.9
38.3
100
LawAccess/Legal Aid helpline
40.1
25.1
34.8
100
Solicitor
56.8
10.5
32.7
100
Court
67
15.6
17.4
100
All (%)
48
24.9
27
100
Total (No.)
23 477
12 197
13 212
48 887
Notes:  Source of inquiry was not available for an additional 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
In 65% of inquiries, the source of inquiry was recorded as ‘Other’. These have been excluded from the analysis.
Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-14:  Referral destination by year
Legal Aid NSW Information Service, 2000-2002
Referral destination
2000 %
2001 %
2002 %
All %
Not referredaTotal not referred
64.3
70.4
76.7
70.3
Non-legalGovernment
4.7
2.7
3.2
3.5
Dispute resolution
0.3
0.2
0.3
0.3
Police
0.5
0.8
0.4
0.6
Total non-legal
5.5
3.7
3.9
4.4
LegalCommunity legal centre
9.1
7.1
6.8
7.6
Private solicitor
6.8
6.4
3.8
5.8
Court
6.2
6.1
3.8
5.5
Total legal
22.1
19.6
14.4
18.9
Other
8.1
6.3
5
6.5
Total (%)
100
100
100
100
Total (No.)
68 259
89 467
63 663
221 389
a  ‘Not referred’ includes referrals to other sections of Legal Aid NSW.
Notes:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 8030 (4%) inquiries for the Information
Service. Information about referral destination was not collected for 139256 inquiries to the Advice Service.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-15:  Referral destination
LawAccess NSW 2002
Referral destination
Inquiries %
Not referredTotal not referred
40.3
Non-legalCommunity organisation
3
Library
1.3
Government
7.1
Union/association
0.6
Dispute resolution
7.5
Police
1.2
Total non-legal
20.6
LegalCommunity legal centre
4.3
Legal Aid NSW
15.8
Solicitor
9.3
Court
9.7
Total legal
39.1
Total (%)
100
Total (No.)
60 948
Note:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 122 (0.2%) inquiries.
Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-16:  Referral destination by year
NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2001
Referral destination
1999 %
2000 %
2001 %
All %
Not referredTotal not referred
67.7
65.3
62.2
65
Non-legalCommunity organisation
4.5
5.6
5.2
5.1
Government
2.2
2.5
2.8
2.5
Dispute resolutiona
0.7
0.6
0.9
0.7
Police
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.7
Non-legal (other)b
0.2
0.1
0.1
0.1
Total non-legal
8.2
9.5
9.7
9.1
LegalCommunity Legal Centre
4.7
4.6
5.1
4.8
Legal Aid NSW
5
3.9
4.2
4.4
Solicitor
6.8
8
9.7
8.2
Court
4.2
6
6.5
5.6
Total legal
20.7
22.5
25.5
23
Other
3.4
2.7
2.7
2.9
Total (%)
100
100
100
100
Total (No.)
104 855
107 304
113 538
325 697
a  Includes complaint handling bodies
b  Includes unions, health professionals and private organisations.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Table 5-17:  Referral destination by broad area of law
Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service (Information only), 2000-2002
Referral Destination
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
Not referreda
39.6
21.8
38.6
100
Non-legalGovernment
21
14.9
64.2
100
Dispute resolution
18
5.7
76.3
100
Police
7.5
77.6
14.8
100
LegalCommunity Legal Centre
23.5
7.6
68.9
100
Private solicitor
38.6
19
42.5
100
Court
24.6
32
43.3
100
Other
19
14.9
66.1
100
All (%)
33.8
20.4
45.8
100
Total (No.)
31 060
18 779
42 147
91 986
a  ‘Not referred’ includes referrals to other sections of Legal Aid NSW
Notes:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 7923 (8%) inquiries for the Information
Service. Information about referral destination was not collected for 139256 inquiries to the Advice Service.
Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Table 5-18:  Referral destination by broad area of law
LawAccess NSW, 2002
Referral destination
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
Not referred
28.3
16.4
55.3
100
Non-legalCommunity organisation
5.1
5.2
89.8
100
Library
16.1
19.4
64.5
100
Government
19.7
7.9
72.3
100
Union/Association
1.7
3.8
94.5
100
Dispute resolution
11.2
4.8
84
100
Police
3.8
69.9
26.2
100
LegalCommunity legal centre
20.7
14.4
64.8
100
Legal Aid NSW
44.1
23.5
32.5
100
Solicitor
20.6
15.1
64.4
100
Court
30
23.2
46.8
100
All (%)
26.7
16.8
56.5
100
Total (No.)
16 284
10 224
34 386
60 894
Note:   Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 183 (0.3%) inquiries.
Source:  LawAccess NSW 2002 (unpublished data).

Table 5-19:  Referral destination by broad area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2001
Referral destination
Family %
Crime %
Civil %
Total %
Not referred
25.4
15
59.6
100
Non-legalCommunity organisation
8.5
3.7
87.8
100
Government
17.3
6.3
76.4
100
Dispute resolutiona
35.2
14
50.8
100
Police
23.3
51.9
24.8
100
Non-legal (other)b
2.6
2.4
95
100
LegalOther Community Legal Centre
24.4
12.6
63
100
Legal Aid NSW
47.4
19.8
32.8
100
Solicitor
50.5
10.6
38.9
100
Court
35.8
11.3
53
100
Other
28.9
11.5
59.6
100
All (%)
28
13.9
58.1
100
Total (No.)
91 179
45 126
189 221
325 526
a  Includes complaint handling bodies.
b  Includes unions, health professionals and private organisations.
Note:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 980 (0.3%) inquiries.
Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).