A lack of funding means young lawyers are working above expectations to provide Indigenous clients with fair representation, according to the principal lawyer for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA).
NAAJA lawyer Glen Dooley said lawyers were required to work harder to offer Indigenous clients equal access to justice, reported the ABC News.
"When it comes to some of the hardcore business of doing criminal law, we're struggling to get experienced lawyers out on the park," he said.
"Luckily ... with our Australia-wide network, some of the youngest and brightest criminal lawyers are coming to NAAJA - but they're not getting paid much and they won't stick around for very long. So that's not good for our clients."
An Australian Institute of Criminology conference in Sydney heard that the NAAJA could allocate about $17 per client per case, whereas the Legal Aid Commission can spend about $780 per client.