New online tool helps more Victorians access legal support services

New online tool helps more Victorians access legal support services

Friday, 1 June 2018

L–R: Code for Australia's Rikke Winther-Sørensen, Victoria Legal Aid's Senior Policy Officer Toby Verey, and Code for Australia's Christian Arevalo
L–R: Code for Australia's Rikke Winther-Sørensen, Victoria Legal Aid's Senior Policy Officer Toby Verey, and Code for Australia's Christian Arevalo

A new referral tool is halving the time it takes for Victorians to access legal services and has supported more than 5,000 clients since August 2017. 

We have partnered with Code for Australia to deliver the Online Referral Booking Information Tool (ORBIT), which provides clients with improved, more streamlined access to legal assistance in Victoria. 

Toby Verey, Senior Policy Officer at Victoria Legal Aid, said ‘it’s now easier for members of the public to access the right legal assistance across Victoria based on their situation.’

Using ORBIT, Victoria Legal Aid and community legal centre staff match people with legal problems to relevant services – based on type of legal issue, location and eligibility. 

Importantly, staff can book clients directly into services at the first point of contact – significantly reducing the time it takes for people to get help. The tool also provides targeted legal information to clients to encourage self-help early on. 

Mr Verey said ‘for the first time, our staff can use a single tool to identify legal support across Victoria. Nine community legal centres are already using ORBIT, and we look forward to making the tool available to many more centres across Victoria.’

Brendan Lacota, Principal Lawyer at Moonee Valley Legal Service, said ‘our staff and volunteers use ORBIT daily and find it easy to use and intuitive. It saves us time and provides better referrals for clients.’

Through funding from the Public Sector Innovation Fund, Victoria Legal Aid has been partnering with Code for Australia since 2016 to develop tools and processes that better match clients to legal aid services.

Alvaro Maz, Managing Director at Code for Australia, said ‘we’re proud to be working alongside Victoria Legal Aid, who have made huge progress in their digital transformation journey over the past year, with help from our Fellows.’ 

‘All code published by Code for Australia is open source, meaning it can be replicated in other organisations who have similar needs,’ said Mr Maz.

It is expected the technology will be rolled out to the rest of the legal assistance sector by the end of 2018. 

More information

Read more about Code for Australia  

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry, please phone Sophie Griffin, Program Communications Manager on 0427 916 923 or email sophie.griffin@vla.vic.gov.au

Was this helpful?