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November 2018
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Legal information services: 
what works for whom and when?

Sarah Randell, November 2018

The aim of this literature scan was to locate and summarise the available research evidence on legal information services. The Foundation identified 69 studies published between 2013 and 2018. We also examined 34 legal service organisations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, analysing the channels they use to reach their audience. 

Three key themes of effectiveness, barriers and innovation and technology emerged from the scan of literature, which are outlined in the report

Key findings

  • For certain client groups, legal information services and strategies may be more effective when used in combination with other services and strategies
  • One-size does not fit all with online services having greater utility with higher capability clients
  • Some clients may require greater assistance from services to ensure meaningful use and application of legal information
  • Avoiding duplication of information across agencies and organisations is a challenge
  • Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots should be approached with caution because they may not meet client needs at this early stage of innovation 
  • As younger, more digitally capable populations age, the uptake and effectiveness of online legal information services and strategies may increase.
The Foundation was engaged by Victoria Legal Aid to conduct this literature scan which will inform the delivery of public legal information services in Victoria.

Download report
Victoria Legal Aid: Information services literature scan
Want to see more of our research?
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