Free Legal Advice Line
When we receive a call we take down some initial details from the caller. Sometimes more information will be needed so we may call back and conduct a more detailed interview.
After we’ve had a chance to look into the issue a lawyer, or a volunteer supervised by a lawyer, will get in touch to give you some advice. We do our best to provide advice within 48 hours of your first call, although this may be extended during busy periods, public holidays, days when we are closed, or over weekends.
If we’re able to provide further assistance, we may ask you to sign a form allowing us to help you. We can post, fax or email the form to you. Once signed, it will allow us to act and collect information on your behalf. We may also send you other legal information that you may find helpful.
Can we advise you?
We can provide advice if:
- You are under 25 years or calling on behalf of someone else under 25 years AND
- You cannot afford a private lawyer (e.g. you are a school or tertiary student, you have a Community Services Card, you are unemployed, you earn less than $32,670 per year, you are a recent migrant or refugee, or if there is some other factor meaning that you have increased legal vulnerability). We are flexible – our ability to help will often depend on your circumstances and the nature of your legal problem.
We cannot provide advice if:
- You are calling about your legal problem and you are over 25 years. We may ask for proof of age.
- You are calling about a legal issue involving a young person, but you’re seeking advice which may be contrary to the interests of a child or young person. We will usually need to speak with the child or young person concerned directly, irrespective of their age.
- You could afford a private lawyer or you’re already receiving legal help elsewhere (e.g. through a duty solicitor at court, private lawyer, other Community Law Centre, or you qualify for legal aid). We may be able to help you if you’re not satisfied with your current legal help and want to make a complaint, or if you have a separate issue.
In situations where we cannot help we can usually refer you to someone who can.
Assistance and representation
Depending on the issue, we may be able to provide further assistance, such as helping you complain or write a letter, or representing you at a hearing or in court. Regrettably, due to extremely limited resources, our capacity to provide additional assistance is limited. Factors which will influence our ability to help you further include:
- Your age and your ability to deal with the issue yourself
- The nature of your legal problem and how serious it is compared our other clients
- The likelihood of success, and whether our involvement will be of legal benefit
- Our current workload, capacity and resources
We may refer you to a local Community Law Centre who may be able to help you further. In all cases we try to give our clients enough information for them to attempt to solve their problems themselves.