Check-In for legal advice: RLC announces new web app for international students
Now there's a new way international students can access RLC's International Student Legal Service NSW.
As NSW's International student population continues to grow, Redfern Legal Centre has been looking at new ways of engaging the community, and innovations to reduce barriers to legal access.
In April, RLC was selected as one of five participants in the Allens Neota Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice.
A team of students from UTS were tasked with streamlining the intake process for students contacting RLC's International Student Legal Service NSW.
The students were given a brief of creating a web app that would enhance face-to-face legal appointments by cutting down the time spent gathering documentation during solicitor interviews. The result was Check-In.
The online booking app was developed out of a series of meetings between UTS Law students, Allens staff, and RLC staff and volunteers.
By employing an easy to use multiple-choice format, Check-In helps to triage legal inquries, and encourages international students to upload relevant documentation ahead of their appointment, where possible.
"Resolving legal issues typically requires clients to supply numerous documents to support their claim, such as employment contracts tenancy agreements, and written correspondence," RLC's international student solicitor Sean Stimson said.
"Language barriers can make this task more complex for international students, and many students find it easier to communicate with RLC online.
"Check-In provides a simple and effective way to get a head start on the process of information gathering, by signposting key documents that students will need to support better legal outcomes.
"We are very excited about the efficiencies that Check-In is providing," Mr Stimson said.
"As a result of a more streamlined intake process, our solicitors can spend more time during appointments addressing underlying legal issues."
As well as fuctioning as a stand-alone web app, Check-In has been designed to work hand-in-hand with RLC's new mobile app, My Legal Mate, providing a streamlined referral pathway for international students needing direct support from RLC.