Legal orgs team up to aid community legal centres

The orgs worked together to develop a system to bolster access to justice

Legal orgs team up to aid community legal centres

Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC), the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), and Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) have teamed up with Microsoft Partner Barhead Solutions on the development and refinement of a legal practice management system to bolster access to justice in the country.

MLC is leading the partnership, which is a response to a cost-of-living crisis that has consistently driven heightened demand for aid from community legal centres (CLCs) throughout Australia. Barhead Solutions pointed out in a media release that CLCs are being challenged by bottlenecks at intake that are leading to delays and barriers to justice.

Annually, CLCs must deny legal assistance to over 200,000 people. The legal practice management system, which has been christened Consensus with Purpose, is a move to reduce those barriers and beef up efficiency by cutting down CLC lawyers’ administrative workload by 30%.

Most Read

Consensus for Purpose is integrated with Microsoft software like Outlook and Sharepoint. It is built on Dynamics 365; thus, data is stored within Microsoft’s data centres in Australia and is protected by Microsoft’s access and authentication protocols.

MLC CEO Vasili Maroulis described Consensus for Purpose as a “truly a collaborative grassroots effort” and highlighted the involvement of EDO and WLSQ.

“Demand for free legal advice and representation has definitely increased due to the rising costs of living. Consensus for Purpose will enable CLCs to drive greater operational efficiencies by improving the automation of basic administrative tasks, that will ultimately and most importantly, enable CLCs to assist more people in our community with fewer resources”, Maroulis said.

EDO Legal Director Nicole Sommer added that the system provides EDO with “more resources to deliver public interest legal services on environmental law”.

“A significant percentage of EDO’s clients are overburdened with environmental harm and face significant barriers accessing justice about environmental matters. These include First Nations clients and those living in rural and regional Australia. With this tool, more of our specialist lawyers’ time can be spent delivering those services”, Sommer said.

Women’s Legal Service Queensland CEO Nadia Bromley said that the development of Consensus for Purpose “is a testament to the power of collaboration”.

“Our partnerships have allowed us to proactively create a solution rather than waiting. Together, we are shaping a more efficient and responsive pathway to justice for those who need it most”, she said.

Recent articles & video

Carroll O'Dea celebrates 125 years with women-centric promotions round

Former Shell plc legal director among ACC noms for global board

Clayton Utz lends a hand to Children's Cancer Institute on lease agreement

Ex-AICM Queensland president commences with Keypoint Law

High Court affirms immunity for foreign state-owned entities in winding-up proceedings

KWM expands partnership with nine promotions

Most Read Articles

NSW justice system welcomes new judges

Seven ascend to Hall & Wilcox partnership in huge promotions round

HWL Ebsworth unveils board of partners

KWM expands partnership with nine promotions