This case study looks at innovation within legal services and how the challenge of change was successfully taken up.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) was created through an Act of Parliament in 1999. Its purpose is to help people to obtain access to high quality legal services that address their particular needs. In particular, it looks to assist members of society who, for one reason or another, lack ready access to the services and benefits that other members of society can readily obtain, and may perhaps almost take for granted.
The LSC is part of an overall government programme that seeks to combat social exclusion. Its particular concern is to ensure that citizens enjoy equal access to justice, irrespective of their social status, income or general circumstances. This aim includes making sure that citizens know how to contact the legal service providers and are aware that help is available to them.
Social exclusion occurs whenever some individuals miss out on opportunities and benefits that the rest of society knows about, understands how to access, and can afford. The LSC offers citizens the major benefit of legal assistance when required e.g. when charged with an offence or facing the threat of a legal case being brought against them. It also supports citizens who are seeking legal redress e.g. for harm done to them or a wrong inflicted on them.
The LSC funds and manages services designed to help its customers obtain professional legal support.
The LSC is a public sector organisation. It was set up by, and operates on behalf of, the government. The government, through the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Treasury, provides the LSC with its annual operating budget of c.£2 billion, which the LSC has a duty to use to maximum effect.