How to Find Legal Help
If you need legal assistance and cannot afford a private lawyer, you should first approach Legal Aid, your local Community Legal Centre or call a legal telephone advice service if one exists in your State or Territory.
If these services do not meet your needs, there may be other options. You may be able to get assistance from:
The type of assistance you seek will determine where you go for legal assistance. If you need advice or representation, Legal Aid, a Community Legal Centre or legal referral scheme may be able to help you. If you need legal information, much is available online and can be accessed through your local library.
What are "pro bono legal services"?
"Pro bono" legal services may be provided free of for a substantially reduced fee when clients have no other access to legal advice or where their case raises a wider issue of public interest.
Many kinds of legal services can be provided pro bono but your request will have to meet certain criteria before a lawyer will agree to act on your behalf. Criteria differ between pro bono providers. To find links to the pro bono schemes that may be available, see the State Directories.
It will generally be difficult to obtain pro bono assistance for a commercial dispute and/or where you have substantial means or assets. It may also be difficult to obtain pro bono services in areas such as criminal and family law.
The services that might be made available pro bono include:
- legal advice
- court representation
- legal assistance to non profit organisations
- community legal education
- submissions to government on matters of public interest (law reform)
- other legal work, including drafting documents.
The Centre does not refer individuals to lawyers for help with a legal problem. The Centre promotes and supports pro bono through its independent role as advocate, broker, coordinator, researcher and resource provider.
See the State directories for comprehensive links to websites of service providers in each State and Territory and their contact details.
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