Getting legal help
Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales- its services
The Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales (Legal Aid) is an independent statutory
body established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979. Its role is to help socially and
economically disadvantaged people resolve their legal problems.
Legal Aid may be able to give you legal advice on:
civil law matters (includes consumer issues, tenancy, veterans rights, social
security, discrimination, mental health).
What help does Legal Aid provide?
Family law advice is available without an appointment in our head office in central Sydney
and in Parramatta. In our other offices, you need to make an appointment. If you are not
able to keep the appointment please give us 24 hours notice. Please bring to your
all court documents
pay slips and/or Health Care Card
We can give you free legal advice provided we have no obligation of confidentiality to any
other party who might be involved in your matter. We may owe another party an obligation
of confidentiality if we have ever provided them with assistance about this or other matters
in the past. If so we may only be able to give you general information and referrals.
If you need more than legal advice, we may provide a lawyer to help with your case. This
is called being granted legal aid. You may be granted legal aid if you come within our
guidelines and meet both our means and merit tests. We make an assessment based on
your income and what you own, and whether your case is likely to succeed and the cost
can be justified. If you are granted legal assistance, you may be helped by a Legal Aid
lawyer or, in some cases, a private lawyer.
Alternative dispute resolution
If you are eligible for legal assistance and have a family law matter, you may be directed to
Legal Aid’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program to try and resolve the dispute.
It is important to get legal advice before you go to court.
If you do not have a lawyer when you go to court, lawyers who give free legal advice and
other help (duty lawyers) may be available at the court to assist you. A free duty lawyer
service is provided at a range of courts and tribunals across New South Wales. Ask at the
court if you want to speak to a duty lawyer.
Education and information
Legal Aid offers free workshops and seminars on a range of legal issues. Divorce classes
are also run in various locations around New South Wales. Check our website for details
or call your nearest Legal Aid office.
Visit your local Legal Aid office to get copies of our free booklets, pamphlets and posters,
which cover your legal rights and responsibilities. If you cannot visit an office, telephone
the Publications Unit on 02 9219 5028 or email: email@example.com
These materials are provided in English and some other community languages.
In family law matters resources include: ‘Family Law - Frequently Asked Questions’, ‘Help
with Child Support’, ‘Family Law Conferencing - solving your dispute through mediation’,
and a set of child support fact sheets.
Information about Legal Aid services, policies and publications are available at
www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au The site contains specific information relating to family law.
If a person does not understand English, Legal Aid pays for an interpreter to translate
during an appointment with our lawyers. Ask for one to be booked when making the
If an interpreter is needed for court, this can be arranged through your Legal Aid lawyer.
Telephone legal information service
Legal Aid does not provide telephone advice. However, you can get legal information,
referral or advice by calling LawAccess New South Wales on 1300 888 529 9am-5pm
Monday - Friday.
Legal Aid children’s lawyers do however provide advice to young people calling our
HotLine for Under 18s on 1800 101 810. The HotLine operates Monday - Friday 9am -
midnight and 24 hours on weekends and public holidays. The line provides advice to
young people detained in police custody.
Where are our offices?
Our offices, situated in 21 locations throughout New South Wales, are open Monday to
Friday, from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Last Updated : 13/04/2006