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Lawyer Secondary Consultations: improving access to justice: reaching clients otherwise excluded through professional support in a multi-disciplinary practice1

Author:

Liz Curran

Australian National University, AU
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Abstract

If people do not know they have rights or legal responsibilities; do not have the confidence to assert them or do not know the pathways to gain access to legal support and advice to action these legal rights, then those legal rights become unrealisable. It is now empirically established that unresolved legal problems result in poorer health and social outcomes. This article explores secondary consultations, where a lawyer gives one-to-one information or advice in a timely and approachable way to non-legal professionals (‘trusted intermediaries’) likely to have contact with vulnerable and disadvantaged clients, is an effective way of reaching clients who would otherwise not gain help or advice. The thesis for this article is that legal secondary consultations builds capacity and confidence in professionals to identify legal issues so they either support a client or, where appropriate, refer clients who would otherwise not get help because of a range of inhibitors. Legal secondary consultations enable people to identify legal issues which if unidentified or unresolved can impact significantly on their lives. The author draws on findings from recent research in urban, outer urban and rural settings in Australia and on her practical experience of secondary consultations for over a decade.

How to Cite: Curran, L., 2017. Lawyer Secondary Consultations: improving access to justice: reaching clients otherwise excluded through professional support in a multi-disciplinary practice1. Journal of Social Inclusion, 8(1), pp.46–77. DOI: http://doi.org/10.36251/josi.117
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Published on 07 Sep 2017.
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