Requests to Legal Aid Board up 18% last year

The Legal Aid Board says it experienced an 18% surge in requests for help from new clients last year.

The organisation says the economic downturn and rise in unemployment means that fewer people can afford to pay for legal advice.

The board dealt with 21,000 cases last year, the majority of which related to family law.

The number of new clients seeking assistance from the board's Refugee Legal Service was also up 21%.

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