Encouraging Good Practice in Measuring Effectiveness in the Legal Service Sector by Dr Liz Curran of ANU Legal Workshop (and commissioned by the Consumer Action Law Centre and the Footscray Community Legal Centre) examines the topical issue of measuring effectiveness of legal services but is also relevant to non-legal services. The report is particularly timely in view of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department’s Australia-wide Review of Legal Assistance Services which is to be finalised in June 2013.
The report warns against measurements that are unlinked to the nature of the services being delivered and the aims which the services are supposed to achieve. The report demonstrates, through case examples, how transaction based measurement can overlook effective, holistic, responsive and strategic delivery of legal services which directly respond to client situations working to prevent the revolving door of legal problems. This is effective early intervention and can be more effective and resource efficient than assuming bulk one-on-one case work is always the solution to solving legal problems.