Close this search box.
Housing and Homelessness Collaboration Latest News

Organisations collaborate to address the increasing demand for legal service

2 min read
legal service

Marrickville Legal Centre, Environmental Defenders Office, Women’s Legal Service Queensland and Barhead Solutions join forces to improve access to justice in Australia. 

With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to fuel demand for support from Community Legal Centres (CLCs) around Australia, Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC), the Environmental 

Defenders Office (EDO) and Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) have joined forces to find a Solution. 

The three organisations have worked with award-winning Microsoft Partner Barhead Solutions to develop and refine a legal practice management system called Consensus for Purpose that will improve access to justice in Australia.  

Lead partner MLC is one of the largest generalist community legal centres in NSW with a catchment area of over 2 million people, which includes some of the most diverse and disadvantaged areas in the state. 

“Our communities grapple with heightened levels of poverty, violence, and homelessness, making it imperative for us to find innovative solutions to ensure our precious resources are utilised efficiently,” said Women’s Legal Service Queensland CEO Nadia Bromley.  

Community legal centres are doing their best with limited resources but cannot keep up with the demand. Many centres around the country are struggling with bottlenecks at intake, which are causing delays and barriers to justice for people in the community. 

Every year, CLCs across Australia have to turn away more than 200,000 people in need of legal help.  

CLCs continue to advocate for funding to expand capacity but have also found a practical way to reduce barriers and increase efficiency. Many more people will be able to receive help through the use of this innovative legal practice management system, Consensus for Purpose. 

The collaboration, led by MLC, is an excellent example of the power of grassroots engagement and the tenacity of the community sector in serving the community. 

Consensus for Purpose will help CLCs reach more people, more efficiently by alleviating the administrative burden on CLC lawyers by approximately 30%

“Of all the document/practice management software I have used, Consensus for Purpose best centralises all the work associated with a service,” said EDO Senior Solicitor for Safe Climate, Corporate and Commercial Zoe Bush. 

“It allows team members to collaboratively work on a matter simultaneously, minimises the risk of lost work, and its functionality extends beyond mere document management, so service providers’ time and tasks can be centrally managed.” 

Supporting CLCs with their adoption of technological solutions, such as Consensus for Purpose, is not only beneficial for CLCs and their clients, but also for the broader community – improving access to justice improves our society as a whole. 

“We are delighted to have been able to work with amazing partners to bring this project to fruition, for the benefit of our clients and the community at large,” said EDO Legal Director Nicole Sommer.  

Related: Barhead Solutions to work with Microsoft to deliver new fundraising and engagement in Australia


Pearl Dy is a community manager and journalist. She is passionate about business and development particularly involving not-for-profits, charity and social entrepreneurship.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Next Up