Since 2007, we’ve enlisted research partners to conduct a survey with LABC clients every three years. LABC relies on the survey results to track its performance for strategic planning and to improve its services.
A total of 1,051 clients completed the 2020 survey, including 869 clients who applied for and/or received legal representation services in all areas of law covered by legal aid, 147 Family LawLINE clients, and 40 clients of Parents Legal Centres. Due to the pandemic, the survey was conducted online, and duty counsel clients were not included.
Among the 93% of LABC clients who applied for a lawyer, the majority (91%) were provided with one. Among Indigenous clients who applied for a lawyer, 96% received one. Unchanged from the last survey in 2018, 80% of legal aid clients said they feel they were well-represented. Criminal and immigration clients were the most likely to report being well-represented by their LABC-assigned lawyer. Clients who did not feel well-represented by their LABC lawyer pointed to poor communication or lack of interest in their case.
Legal aid lawyers generally earned positive assessments from clients. The top three strengths identified were: treating clients fairly (72% agreed); explaining things in a way that clients understand (70% agreed); and taking the time to listen (68% agreed).
- Indigenous clients’ ratings of their legal aid lawyer’s performance were highly similar to that of the total. Slightly more Indigenous clients gave their lawyer a five out of five rating on going the extra mile (52% versus 40% among the total).
- CFCSA clients scored their lawyers below-average on being able to get hold of them without difficulty.
- Immigration clients generally assessed their lawyer’s performance more positively than all LABC clients.
- Clients who felt their LABC lawyer went the extra mile explained it was because they fought for/won their case and were helpful/supportive. Good communication/follow-up and being friendly and compassionate were also factors that made clients feel their lawyer went “above and beyond.”
Client survey results help LABC see where service improvements can be made. We’ll work on developing and implementing an action plan based on the results.
For more information about the 2020 Client Satisfaction Survey, read the final report.