People from non-English speaking backgrounds will have an easier time accessing quality legal help thanks to a new service launched by national law firm Slater and Gordon.
The ‘We Speak Your Language’ program features a free hotline where non-English speakers can access legal information in any language. Slater and Gordon’s service, a first for a law firm, also provides lawyer and client cultural matching, and a translation and interpreter service.
Considering a massive 15.8 per cent of Australia’s population speak a language other than English at home, the new service marks a milestone in Slater and Gordon’s commitment to delivering affordable legal advice and justice to people in need.
Speaking at today’s launch are the Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Premier in Multicultural Affairs Liz Beattie MP, CEO of the Australian Football League Andrew Demetriou, and Foundation House director Paris Aristotle AM.
Slater and Gordon managing director Andrew Grech, the son of Maltese immigrants, said the firm recognised that people from non-English speaking backgrounds often struggled to access legal help.
“We’re aware that our migrant population may miss out on justice or legal help, and that’s because it’s often difficult for non-English speakers to contact a lawyer when they need assistance,” he said.
“Slater and Gordon has a long history of social justice and our aim is to be able to help anyone living in Australia who needs legal assistance, regardless of their background, financial status, or the language they speak at home.
“People from non-English speaking backgrounds can call our hotline, for free and without obligation, and get help straight away in Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic or Vietnamese. If we don’t have anyone who can speak in a certain language immediately, we’ll find someone who does, and give them a call back.
Representatives from a range of ethnic and migrant community groups are also expected to be present at the launch.
The cultural matching service is a unique approach of selecting lawyers to match their clients. Lawyers are matched up with clients based on their similarity of language, background and ethnicity. Slater and Gordon has also demonstrated its commitment to cultural awareness by rolling out online cross-communication multicultural training to all of its staff.
To access the free Multilingual Legal Help Line, simply phone 1800 659 905.