Client profile for 2014–15
High contact users of legal aid services
We have analysed client data over a ten year period from 2003 to 2013 to map the frequency with which clients used our services.
The top one per cent of our users were identified as 'frequent' or 'high-contact' users. Their demographic characteristics were examined to see if and how they differed from the remainder of our client group.
While all users of our services, particularly those who receive grants of legal assistance, are relatively disadvantaged, we found that frequent (or high-contact) users were more likely to exhibit certain demographic characteristics. The characteristics that stood out amongst this cohort were they:
- had early contact with Victoria Legal Aid (prior to 18 years of age)
- started criminal offending at a young age, specifically between 10 and 17 years of age
- identified as having a psychiatric issue, acquired brain injury or a cognitive disability
- identified as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
They were also more likely to have seen us for a child protection or family violence issue before the age of 18.
This has implications for how we predict who may be likely to continue to use our services and how we deliver services to this group.
Read the research brief: Victoria Legal Aid client profiles – high contact users of legal aid services (doc, 1.48 MB).