Improving legal services for the most vulnerable in our community

Legal Aid NSW has made significant changes to transform the quality of its services and make access much easier, with more changes to come.



There are approximately 1 million calls each year from people needing legal help in NSW.

Going through a family breakdown, financial hardship or facing the criminal justice system is hard enough, but navigating critical services can be difficult for those experiencing multiple vulnerabilities in our community.

Accessing legal support wasn’t easy

Legal Aid NSW supports some of the most disadvantaged people in NSW through the hardest times of their lives. With more than 50 phone numbers and a reliance on services that required customers to show up in person, dealing with Legal Aid NSW sometimes became confusing and time consuming. Some customers tried many times before reaching the right service. Some waited weeks for appointments or faced court without critical legal advice or representation. Others just gave up. 

"I don't want to have to keep calling the office to see if there are any updates. I want to know I'm looking in the right place."

– Legal Aid customer

Transforming legal services in NSW 

The good news is Legal Aid NSW listened and responded with significant changes to transform the quality of its services, with more changes to come. Easy access to legal help is available through digital resources, including guided pathways for traffic matters and fine problems, a Grants Tracker to track the status of applications and a live webchat service. Legal advice over the phone has been significantly boosted, increasing access for people with a disability and those living in rural and remote NSW.  

Most recently, Legal Aid NSW implemented a new statewide model and intake system, where customers only have to tell their story once and a consistent process is applied, regardless of where they are calling from, to directly get the legal help they need. 

Find out more about Legal Aid NSW

“I would like to make an appointment, but unfortunately you have no access for deaf or hearing impaired people to do this online. I don’t do phones, only email and message. You should make this service available to all people even those with disabilities. If people could contact you online this would help a lot of people even hearing people.”

– Legal Aid customer

“I was very appreciative of the phone session as it’s an almost 400km trip to a Legal Aid office.”

– Legal Aid customer

“I feel confident with the information provided for guided pathways. I don’t need a lawyer.”

– Legal Aid customer

  • More than 16,000 live webchats in the first year of operation. Most chats did not need further help. 
  • 131,000 unique page views for digital guided pathways for common legal issues since the July 2020 launch. 
  • 80% of clients welcomed switch to telephone advice services.  
  • More than 50% of clients surveyed about using the new Grants Tracker did not need to call for additional help. 
A senior lady standing outside smiling
A young man wearing a beanie, standing near a wall


Bob's encounter with Legal Aid NSW

Bob was facing a difficult situation and was unsure about the options available to him. This is his story about how Legal Aid was able to provide some advice.



Bob’s encounter with Legal Aid NSW




Find out more about the report

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