Code for Australia and Victoria Legal Aid launch new online checker.
Code for Australia (CfA) and Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) have just released a new online tool designed to make it easier for community members to gain access to legal assistance.
The new technology was developed through the Code for Victoria Innovation Challenge with the ultimate goal of increasing access to justice through streamlined processes that better match people with the right legal services. The new online checker is expected to reduce pressure and save Victoria Legal Aid’s Legal help team up to 30 hours in phone calls per week.
How does it work?
The online checker aims to help people who have legal problems that are considered ‘out of scope’ for VLA by referring Victorians to the relevant body or organisation. In the past, VLA’s Legal Help lawyers could spend up to 5 minutes with each caller who had an issue that was not appropriate for the VLA team to deal with.
The online checker not only provides an alternative mechanism for this cohort to access help by answering a series of online questions but also significantly reduces wait times for those who have a legal problem that VLA are able to help with.
The CfA team have used coding from the gov.uk Legal Aid Checker, run by Government Digital Services, UK, as a starting point and refined the tool to fit Australian needs.
Victoria Legal Aid Managing Director, Bevan Warner, says the new, fresh user-centred design prototype has great potential:
Learning from, and working with, the fellows has brought a dynamic perspective to Victoria Legal Aid, building our capacity to use design thinking, rapid prototyping and co-design. I am looking forward to seeing this prototype develop and also looking forward to seeing how Victoria Legal Aid can continue to grow and explore in applying user-centred design principles.”
All code published by the CfA team is open source, meaning it can be replicated in other organisations who have similar needs. The code can be found on Github.
Have something to add to this story? Leave a comment!