1. 1967

    The Law Foundation was established.

  2. 1971–1979

    The Law Foundation funds The College of Law, enabling professionally managed practical legal training. By 1979, the College was well established and became a direct beneficiary of the Statutory Interest Account (now Public Purpose Fund).

  3. 1974

    The Law Foundation recognises the need for legal studies at a high school level. Through the High School Education Law Project (HELP) established in 1974, it plays an instrumental role in stimulating inclusion of Legal Studies in the NSW HSC curriculum from 1989.

  4. 1979

    The Law Foundation is incorporated under the Law Foundation Act.

  5. 1982

    The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is established after the Law Foundation recognises the need for a specialist legal centre to engage in litigation and campaigns to promote and protect public interest. Today, PIAC is an independent specialist community legal centre representing individuals and organisations in far-reaching test litigation, providing public advocacy training and addressing challenging matters in the public interest.

  6. 1983

    The Law Foundation develops the Pocket Guide to the Law series, a dictionary style guide with plain language answers to common legal questions. With the success of the NSW version of the Guide, the Foundation developed editions for other states. More than 400,000 copies of the Guide were sold.

  7. 1985–1993

    The Youth and the Law Project (YALP) is established by the Law Foundation. An eight-year experiment in youth crime prevention, YALP developed unique processes that included workshops and forums to address local community issues. The YALP method of youth participation was adopted by several project partners including the NSW Department of Education, Sydney City Mission (now Mission Australia) and the NSW Drug and Alcohol Directorate.

  8. 1987

    The Communications Law Centre is established. The Law Foundation provided funding support to the CLC until June 2000. Today, the Centre plays a central role to governments and policy makers, putting forward an independent view on proposals for communications reform and change.

    The Legal Expense Insurance (LEI) scheme is established in partnership with GIO. Between 1987 and 1996, LEI assisted more than 30,000 individuals and their families across several areas, including management of legal risk and legal compliance. In 1997, the Law Foundation divested its stake in LEI to GIO.

    The Law Foundation joins with the Law Society of NSW to fund the ABC television series Living with the Law, a 20-part series dealing with legal issues relating to young people.

  9. 1989

    The Law Foundation establishes the Civil Justice Research Centre, with the principal purpose of helping make the processes for resolving civil disputes in NSW more efficient, more cost-effective and more accessible to the public. In 1995, the CJRC was restructured as the Justice Research Centre.

  10. 1990

    The Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) is established as a joint initiative of the Law Foundation and the State Library of NSW. LIAC a state-wide service providing free access to plain language legal information through the state’s public library network. There are now more than 50 public library LIACs in NSW.

    The Centre for Plain Legal Language is established as a joint venture between the Law Foundation and the University of Sydney. Its aim was to promote the use and study of plain language in public and private legal documents through teaching, research and consultancies.

  11. 1992

    The Centre for Legal Education is established by the Law Foundation. The Centre conducted high quality research, and facilitated the gathering and dissemination of resources, for legal education that support a fair and accessible legal system. In January 2000, the CLE relocated to Newcastle University.

  12. 1993

    The Legal Scholarship Support Fund is established by the Law Foundation. The Fund provided small grants for research assistance, conference travel and special programs to full-time legal academics in NSW law schools. The Fund operated until 1997.

  13. 1994

    The Litigation Support Fund is established by the Law Foundation as a contingency legal assistance fund to contribute to access to justice. In 1996, the introduction of the NSW Consumer Credit Code led to a major restructuring of the Fund so as to comply with the Code, converting the model from being underpinned by an application of a fee, to the charging of interest on loans. The Law Foundation ceased accepting applications in 1997.

  14. 1995

    The Justice Research Centre is established with contribution from the Law Foundation. The JRC conducted empirical research and data analysis to inform policies that shape the justice system. The JRC established a reputation for excellence in empirical research. Its inquiries covered issues such as claims under motor accidents legislation; litigants in person in the Federal Court; and research into legal aid services in family law.

  15. 1996

    Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) is established with significant investment from the Law Foundation. The Foundation was the principal funding source for AustLII in its first five years, and of its primary legal materials. AustLII is now Australia’s largest online provider of Australian legal materials.

  16. 1998

    The Foundation’s Grants Program is launched. The Grants Program provided opportunities for innovative local projects to be delivered by organisations to significantly improve access to justice for socially and economically disadvantaged people in NSW. Through the program, the Foundation granted over $4.6 million to projects that enabled new legal assistance services and community legal information resources to be developed and delivered across its 20 years of operation. The Grants Program ceased in 2018 due to funding restraints.

  17. 1999

    The inaugural year of the Foundation’s annual Justice Awards, recognising the significant contribution of individuals and organisations in the law and justice sector to the community. The Hon. Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE GBM, Foundation patron and former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, delivered the Law and Justice Address at the final Justice Awards ceremony held in 2017.

  18. 2000

    The Law and Justice Foundation Act 2000 No 97 reconstitutes the Law Foundation as the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. The Objects of the Foundation were reconstituted to include its current focus on the development of a fair and equitable justice system.