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Welcome to the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW

Employment Opportunity
November 2023

We are on the search for a super proactive and organised Office Manager, 21-28 hours per week. Come join our passionate, dedicated team working to improve access to justice. See details and 'how to apply' here. Full position description can be found here.


Estimating Legal Needs

Foundation Dashboards

Legal Needs Dashboard – Community Profiles
November 2023

A tool to explore data in relation to those in the community who are most vulnerable to the experience, or the impact, of legal problems.

Use this resource to compile a profile for a geographic area, and analyse the relative distribution of specific community groups to inform an assessment of potential legal needs.

Access the dashboard >

This dashboard replaces our 2021 National Legal Needs dashboard with more recent data, a streamlined interface, and improved overall performance.

Data spreadsheet

Community groups - 2021 Census Data Update
December 2022

A new resource providing easy access to the most recent available data on community groups relevant to the sector, including NLAP priority client groups.
Based on ABS 2021 Census data.

Download Excel spreadsheet here >

Key points to consider

Short video – Key points to consider when estimating legal needs for planning purposes
June 2021

What data sources can be used to assess the extent and nature of legal needs? What does service data say or doesn’t say about the legal needs of your community? What are the Need for Legal Assistance Services (NLAS) indicators?
This short video takes you through some important points to consider before taking the next steps in doing a legal needs assessment for your service planning strategy.

Watch the video >


Annual Report 2021/2022

The Foundation has published its 2021/2022 Annual Report. Click here to access the report.

Director appointed
December 2022

We are pleased to announce the appointment of the Foundation’s new Director, Ms Olivia Nguy.

Olivia brings to the Foundation a wealth of leadership experience with a combination of social policy, community development, advocacy and strategic planning skills. Her passion for social impact has seen her lead and develop Detour House, delivering residential services for girls and women experiencing homelessness, after holding key responsibilities at the Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre for many years.

This is an exciting time for the Foundation as we welcome her to the team, and look forward to a great future ahead in supporting access to justice.

The Board of the Foundation welcomes Olivia, and takes the opportunity to thank Andrew Smith for his significant contribution in his role as Acting Director over the last ten months. His hard work and dedication have been invaluable during this pivotal year for the Foundation.

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Justice Access Research Alert and Plain Language Law 

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The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW is an independent statutory body established to:
  • contribute to the development of a fair and equitable justice system
  • that addresses the legal needs of the community
  • and improves access to justice by the community, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people.

We assist the legal and justice sector by providing empirical research evidence, analytical advice and comprehensive data tools to support planning and service delivery.

Read more about the Foundation >


March 2023 | The Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the ACCESS TO JUSTICE Research Hub. The Research Hub supports evidence-based and people-centred service provision in the justice and legal assistance sector.

Information, webinars, downloadable resources and interactive tools cover a range of topics along with links to Foundation and other relevant research. It is designed to make finding information and resources easy for policy makers, practitioners, and researchers within the justice and legal sector.

Visit the site by clicking here.

Data to inform assessment of legal needs in NSW
Update on Vulnerable Community Groups - 2023
September 2023 | Our latest report provides information and data that is useful to consider when conducting a legal needs assessment for New South Wales.

It includes a regional breakdown of population data and indicators of potential need for legal assistance services, and focuses on vulnerable community groups more likely to experience legal problems and/or who may require public legal assistance.
This report is an update to the Foundation’s 2021 report,
An Assessment of Legal Needs in NSW, following the release of more recent data, and in particular, the ABS 2021 Census data.

Download the report >

Need for Legal Assistance Services (NLAS) indicators - 2021 Census Update
Justice Issues Paper 33
March 2023 | The Foundation's NLAS(Capability) and NLAS(Community) indicators have been updated with the most recent (2021) Census data with counts available at various levels of geography.

These counts provide a comparative indicator of the potential demand for not-for-profit legal assistance services across different regions of Australia. This Justice Issues paper outlines the updates that have been made to these two indicators since the previous 2016 Census versions, describes the impact of these updates on the two NLAS counts, reports on the distribution of the counts across NSW, and includes a link to a downloadable spreadsheet for a wide range of geographic areas across all Australian states and territories.

Download the report >

An Analysis of Legal Aid service data: two Jurisdictional Profiles
New South Wales Profile 2018-19
Northern Territory Profile 2020-21
November 2022 | This report presents an analysis of Legal Aid service delivery data in New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

Service delivery data provides an opportunity to better understand what types of legal assistance services are provided, where, for what legal problems, and to which client profiles. This report explores the potential insights that can be gained from this valuable resource.

In exploring the broader question of whether service delivery data is a suitable source of evidence to guide policy decisions, we reiterate that such data is an important factor, yet only one of many to be considered in the development of planning strategies.

Download the report >

Legal Assistance Services Outcomes Frameworks: A Rapid Scoping Review
July 2022 | This report draws together evidence relevant to framework development, shared outcomes, and sector-wide frameworks and collates information on how outcomes frameworks are currently used within the legal assistance sector nationally and internationally.

The successful use of outcomes frameworks as part of an outcomes-based approach to service design has many benefits by putting people’s needs at the centre of design and delivery. An outcomes-based approach leads to continuous improvement by building evidence about what works and why and drives innovation to achieve even better outcomes. Outcomes frameworks are increasingly being adopted across many and diverse sectors. The information contained in this report may be of value in informing the development of sector-wide outcomes frameworks for legal assistance services in Australia.

Download the report >

Coroners Courts - A review of the research literature on improving court experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families
July 2021 | This report provides a sound base for reviewing culturally sensitive processes and practices within the coronial system, particularly for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

Coroners courts in many jurisdictions throughout Australia are seeking ways to ensure their processes and practices are culturally sensitive, particularly for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands families. This report provides a sound base for reviewing culturally sensitive practices within the coronial system. It does this by describing variations in service provision across Australian jurisdictions to characterize current practices, and by analysing key literature to guide discussion and further services development.

Download the report >

Criminal Finalisations background research papers
July 2021 | Using criminal courts data to inform service planning

Locating legal assistance demand: using courts data to support legal service planning for First Nations people in NSW. This report presents an analysis of criminal finalisations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants by court locations in NSW over a five-year period, from 2012 to 2016. Access the report >

Using court data to support planning legal assistance for First Nations people. This report is a feasibility study to explore the possibility to expand the model designed for NSW to the national level. It includes an assessment of data availability across all jurisdictions in 2018, and an analysis of Queensland Courts statistics over the period 2013-14 to 2017-18. Access the report >

The Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales does not provide legal advice or referrals. If you need legal information, advice or assistance, please contact LawAccess on 1300 888 529, or visit