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Preferred supplier newsletter — April 2022

This month:

Legal Aid Queensland survey of preferred suppliers and barristers

Legal Aid Queensland is committed to a high level of business engagement with private law firms and barristers to provide services to our clients across Queensland. To that end, we are conducting a survey of all Legal Aid Queensland preferred supplier law firms and Bar Association of Queensland members who undertake legal aid work.

We emailed the survey to preferred suppliers on 26 April 2022 and the Bar Association has sent a notice to their members. We invite you to participate in this short survey, which should take about 10 minutes or less, to provide your feedback about the way we engage with you, and the information, assistance, and support we provide to support your practice.

The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LAQCommsPSUP

The survey will be open until 6 May 2022, and we thank you in advance for your participation.

Contact details for Queensland Police Prosecution Corps

Police Prosecutions Corps in Queensland have given us their contact details and have encouraged early contact, on receiving a grant of aid, to ensure disclosure can occur early. The contact details can be accessed here.

Family law and domestic and family violence advice worksheet

When providing clients with advice for family law matters, lawyers must provide information required by the Family Law Act 1975 and Family Law Rules 2021 (see FLA ss 12A-12E). Have you seen the family law and domestic and family violence advice worksheet provided as an annexure in the case management standards – family law? It provides a comprehensive checklist for giving advice in this area.

Legal Aid Queensland has developed case management standards to assist staff and preferred suppliers. The standards represent the work expected to be undertaken in representing a client or when acting as an independent children’s lawyer or separate representative. The objective of the standards is to help lawyers achieve efficient and effective practice.

While using the advice worksheet is not mandatory, compliance with the case management standards is a pre-requisite to ensuring consistency of service delivery to clients and is therefore an important requirement of undertaking legal aid work.

Separating with debt (family law guide) – translation into various languages

On 6 April 2022, the Attorney-General’s Department published translated versions of their Separating with debt: a guide to your legal options resource. The guide was translated into six languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Filipino, Hindi and Vietnamese. The translated versions of the guide aim to increase accessibility for culturally diverse communities who may experience greater barriers to identifying, accessing and understanding legal information relevant to their circumstances.

The guide is an online resource only, and both translated and English versions are available at https://www.ag.gov.au/families-and-marriage/publications/separating-debt-guide-your-legal-options.

Over the coming months, it is anticipated the guide will be translated into further languages commonly used by people who access the family law system. These will also be made available on the Attorney-General’s Department website.

LAQ Family Dispute Resolution conference times are changing from 1 July 2022

We appreciate the high number of responses and feedback provided as part of our consultation with stakeholders and the profession on conference times offered by our Dispute Resolution Service. Feedback received as part of the consultation emphasised the importance of a client-focus, particularly around school pick-up and drop-off times, and ensuring flexibility of practitioners to undertake other work commitments, in determining conference times. The outcome of the consultation resulted in significant support for the conference times that have been adopted moving forward as well as the inclusion of a third conference time slot.

From 1 July 2022, the following conference times will be offered:

  • 9am to 1pm
  • 10am to 2pm
  • 12.30pm to 4.30pm

Property pilot conferences will start at 10am and 1pm.

For conferences already booked for a date which falls on or after 1 July 2022, these will continue as scheduled and will not be affected by these changes.

Upcoming Training: Youth Practitioner Certification

Legal Aid Queensland has organised a Youth Practitioner Certification Training session in May 2022 for practitioners who want to undertake the training.

Below are the details and the link to register:

Friday, 6 May 2022 - Legal Aid Queensland Auditoriums, Face-to-face or webinar option available. Register here.

In person attendance is encouraged, however there are limited spots available for the face-to-face sessions. A webinar option will be available for those practitioners unable to attend in person.

If you have any questions, please call Rhian on 07 3917 0339 or send an email to youth.certification@legalaid.qld.gov.au

Continuing professional development

Recorded CPD seminars are available on Grants Online under the Information Resources tab.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

The latest information about COVID-19 for preferred suppliers can be viewed here.

Preferred suppliers are reminded to ensure they are confident in their ability to respond to COVID-19 by understanding the risk, minimising it where possible and complying with government and court directions.

Feedback

We welcome feedback and comments from clients, the community and our suppliers. As preferred suppliers you play an important role in helping us to provide quality legal services to disadvantaged Queenslanders. If you would like to provide comments or suggestions to us about our services, policies, processes or staff members, you can complete a contact form or email us at complaints@legalaid.qld.gov.au at any time.

Your feedback is important to us. We ensure a senior staff member investigates all issues raised thoroughly and we analyse all feedback every quarter to see what processes and services can be improved.

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