We have a long history of creating leading online education resources in our Not-for-profit Law program. With the help of our network of pro bono lawyers, we offer over 300 free legal resources online to charities and not-for-profits in smart formats from videos, to guides and interactive web applications.
We’re now building out our online resources across the organisation to reach individuals who have the potential to help themselves: people at risk of eviction due to missed rent payments, people seeking payment of unpaid entitlements.
Justice Connect has a track record of delivering assistance at different levels of intensity and scale. The 300+ online legal information resources on Not-for-profit Law’s website (www.nfplaw.org.au) reach an infinite number of community organisations across Australia.
The Not-for-profit Law website receives nearly 500,000 unique page hits per year. The site has been evaluated three times, with findings indicating significant utility, positive user experience, cost effectiveness, and overall value. The Not-for-profit Law website has twice been a finalist for the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards (2014 and 2015), and was a finalist in the 2017 global PILnet Local Impact Pro Bono Awards.
In recent years, the Not-for-profit Law service addressed evaluation findings by creating interactive digital information resources that empower not-for-profit organisation clients to distil relevant packets of information tailored to their specific needs.
The service has participated in the Melbourne Law School and Neota Logic ‘Law Apps’ program twice, publishing two interactive web applications that provide tailored information in specific complex areas of law (one for tax concessions options for not-for-profit organisations, the other, a decision support framework to aid community organisations that are starting up to choose the legal structure that best suits their needs).
These online resources have been well received by users, with evaluations finding the applications reduce the complexity of an area of law, reduce the amount of reading that is required to cover all relevant material, and significantly reduce the time spent reading and distilling relevant information relating to a legal issue.
Not-for-profit Law’s resources are complemented by training (also accessible to any organisation in any location via webinar) and through Not-for-profit Law’s provision of telephone legal advice and pro bono referrals. The service’s tiered model has enabled Not-for-profit Law to scale rapidly from a single jurisdiction service to a national service while maintaining a small staff profile, supported by pro bono work from law firms.
Justice Connect staff have observed that clients who have used the apps prior to engaging in a conversation about their legal issue with a Not-for-profit Law lawyer have increased legal capacity and literacy, and are better enabled to provide clear instructions that allow the service to quickly assist them:
“Providing legal advice to a not-for-profit group which is ‘getting started’ can be very time consuming as there are many issues that these groups need to consider and make decisions on. Having a client complete the Getting Started Framework prior to providing legal advice is really helpful because it allows me to review the client’s feedback and focus on their pain points – the things they are undecided on or confused about, and need tailored legal advice that applies specifically to their group in order to move forward with the process.”
Justice Connect Not-for-profit Law lawyer, 2017