Marrickville Legal Centre, Environmental Defenders Office, Women’s Legal Service Queensland and Barhead collaborate to meet growing legal need

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

With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to fuel demand for support from community legal centres around Australia, Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC), the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) have joined forces with Barhead Solutions to create a new legal practice management solution called Consensus for Purpose.

Built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, Consensus for Purpose will streamline the entire client journey, with technology reducing the administrative burden and freeing up CLCs to focus on legal advice and speeding up the process for those needing help.

‘Demand for free legal advice and representation has definitely increased due to the rising costs of living. Consensus for Purpose will enable CLCs to drive greater operational efficiencies by improving the automation of basic administrative tasks, that will ultimately and most importantly, enable CLCs to assist more people in our community with fewer resources.’

Vasili Maroulis, CEO, Marrickville Legal Centre

John Orrock, Co-founder, Barhead Solutions

‘Underpinned by Dynamics 365, Consensus for Purpose leverages Microsoft’s extensive innovation and establishes a secure and scalable platform for use by CLCs, inclusive of AI readiness. The collaborative effort maximises investment — building once and deploying to all, eliminating wasted IT spend and ultimately providing a best-in-class solution for CLCs of any size.’

‘This technology can help community legal centres all around Australia provide better access to justice by freeing up resources and streamlining the administration of our services,’ says EDO Legal Director Nicole Sommer.

Through Consensus for Purpose, many more people, including some of the most disadvantaged sectors, will be able to receive the help they need.

‘A significant percentage of EDO’s clients are overburdened with environmental harm and face significant barriers accessing justice about environmental matters. These include First Nations clients and those living in rural and regional Australia. With this tool, more of our specialist lawyers’ time can be spent delivering those services.’

Nicole Sommer, Legal Director, EDO

‘More and more women each year are relying on our services to navigate the complexities of the legal system. The Consensus for Purpose system means we can dedicate more time to delivering frontline services, ultimately helping more women.’

Nadia Bromley, CEO, Women’s Legal Service Queensland

Consensus for Purpose was showcased at the Community Legal Centres Conference in Brisbane. Read more by clicking the buttons below.