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What is LAMS?
LAMS stands for Legal Aid Management System.
It is the new digital case-management system that is used by LSANI to process all legal aid applications and requests.
What does LAMS mean for me?
All transactions with LSANI are now electronic.
Paper applications and requests will no longer be accepted.
What are the benefits of the new system?
The new system delivers the following benefits:
- ability to submit a request, view a case status, read and respond to messages at anytime
- remote access available via any device with an internet connection e.g. computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone which enables the supplier to check a case status and allowing access on the move
- eliminates duplication of form-filling; any request will pre-populate with your details as supplied at digital account creation
- easy retrieval of client details; where an application request is being made in respect of a regular client, a supplier is able to search for their client and their client's details will pre-populate allowing for amendments where necessary
- one form; no longer required to complete additional supplementary forms as the relevant questions will be asked depending on nature of proceedings chosen, removing duplication of effort; same with levels of representation
- real time information on case / request status
- your support team can access and input information, leaving practitioners only to review and submit
- range of radio buttons and drop down pick lists available for ease of completion; free text boxes available where comments / statements are required
- secure messaging available on LAMS for quick conversations around clarification; query functionality also available on LAMS to raise and respond to queries
- potentially a case management system; once suppliers commence work they can start recording any work done on LAMS as soon as they need; save and return feature to update as the case progresses (after each hearing / piece of work done, leaving the requirement to simply review and submit when the case is over)
- no need to print / copy documents for submission, just scan and upload onto LAMS, a variety of document types accepted
- where authority is granted for counsel in Criminal / Article 3 type cases, the instructing solicitor will add the barrister to the case permitting them access to their case on LAMS so they can make their own requests directly, to include requests for authority (exceptional prep), a payment or an appeal.
What additional administration will I be required to do?
The system reduces administration. The online request forms require similar information, but in the main, the entering of text is limited as most of the information required can be chosen from a drop down list or indicated by a radio button. Where information already exists electronically (e.g. in a Word document) it can be cut and pasted where appropriate.
Where a returning client wishes to make a new application, their details can be searched for and will pre-populate the form.
There is significantly less of a requirement to use letters or telephone calls to communicate with LSANI as LAMS has the ability to message a supplier for information and the supplier has the ability to respond and upload additional information when required saving time, paper and postage.
The ability for the supplier to monitor progress at any given time reduces/removes the need to contact the Agency. Suppliers can track their cases from beginning to end.