We cannot help with some types of legal problems like:
If your problem falls in one of the areas where we cannot help with, you should not continue answering questions. We will provide you with information on where else to look for legal help.
In Australia, there are two main providers of free legal assistance to people with legal problems:
Legal Aid only covers certain areas of law (these vary from state to state). Community legal centres are often focussed on areas of law not covered by Legal Aid, or types of people who may need specialist assistance.
Generally, Legal Aid can provide some basic help to most people who call for the areas of law that Legal Aid covers (eg. some legal information over the phone). In some locations, Legal Aid offers a small amount of advice to all people before they apply eligibility criteria.
Some community legal centres offer drop-in clinics where people can get limited one-off legal help without needing to meet eligibility criteria.
Generally, to access ongoing legal assistance from Legal Aid or from a community legal centre, you need to be on a low income or receiving Government benefits, or have some other special circumstances (eg. be seeking assistance to exit a violent relationship, or be suffering from a mental illness). There are exceptions to this general rule for certain types of legal problems, or for certain groups of people.
The best approach is to call your local Legal Aid Commission and speak to your local Community Legal Centre to understand your options.
You can find out more about community legal centres and find your local community legal centre through the National Association of Community Legal Centres. If there is a specialist community legal centre that covers your type of legal problem, you should speak to that specialist community legal centre.
For people in Victoria, the Law Handbook has a helpful section on finding legal help, and the Victoria Law Foundation also has a brochure on finding legal help.
For people in NSW, Law Access can help you find legal help.
If you are not eligible for assistance from a Legal Aid or a community legal centre (or you are not eligible for the level of assistance that you would like), you could consider paying for a lawyer. To find a lawyer that specialises in the area of law that your problem relates to, you can speak to the Law Society or Law Institute in your State or Territory. Some offer free 30 minute consultations with a lawyer.