The Law and Justice Foundation’s study confirmed that legal problems are less likely to be resolved if people take no action. Improving knowledge of available assistance has the potential to:
minimise the chances of legal problems escalating or triggering further legal problems
reduce the risk of legal problems causing or exacerbating stress or ill-health increase people’s satisfaction with the outcomes of their legal problems improve access to justice
‘Wide advertising and dissemination of the LawAccess NSW telephone number has the potential to provide a simple and effective gateway to legal services’ Justice Made to Measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas, March 2006 pg. xxv
Aboriginal communities tend to be particularly disadvantaged. Data from the LawAccess NSW Customer Satisfaction Survey reveals that the percentage of Aboriginal customers has dropped from 5% in 2004 to 3% in the 2007 indicating the need to raise awareness of the service within Aboriginal communities.
4. Previous communication activity LawAccess NSW is promoted through internal and external communication activities:
White pages listings, including a listing in the Community Services section throughout NSW.
LawAccess Online. LawAccess posters in local courts, local libraries and legal aid commission offices.
Links from LawLink, Legal Aid Commission, Law Society and Bar Association websites.
LawAccess walletcards in local libraries, local courts and legal aid commission offices.
Inclusion in the Department of Education and Training ‘Next: Life after school’ magazine which is distributed to 70,000 school leavers each year.
Joint initiatives with professional bodies and stakeholders, for example the College of General Practitioners, Co-operative Legal Service Delivery Model and Aboriginal Legal Service.
Presentations to Local Courts, Legal Aid, Office of Industrial Relations, Office of Fair Trading and Centrelink staff.
Past communication programs have targeted local assistance services and have included regional outreach, mail-out to assistance services, presentations and training sessions, agricultural fairs and Law Week events.
The 2007 Customer Satisfaction Survey reveals that customers found out about LawAccess through:
White Pages (16.4%) Internet (13.9%)6 Legal Aid Commission offices (12.1%) Local Courts (10.9%)
LawAccess NSW will continue to promote the service through these methods.
The Internet as a source of referral has increased from 3.3% in 2004 to 13.9% in 2007.
LawAccess NSW Communication Strategy 2007-2009