If you need more than legal advice, we may provide a lawyer to help with your
case. This is called being granted legal aid. If you are granted legal aid, you
may be helped by a legal aid lawyer or, in some cases, a private lawyer.
We can help you with most areas of law, including:
- family law and de facto relationships
- child support
- criminal law
- children, criminal law
- consumer issues
- tenancy, caravan park and retirement village disputes
- domestic violence
- child welfare
- refugee applications
- disputes with government departments (such as social security)
- discrimination and civil liberties
- protected estate matters
- mental health and guardianship matters
- veterans' pension appeals
- public interest environmental matters
- separate representatives for children in Family Court matters.
How To Apply For Legal Aid
Applying for legal aid means that you are asking the Legal Aid Commission to
organise a lawyer to represent you in court. This is called a grant of legal
aid. Legal aid is not always available for all legal matters such as divorce,
property settlements, apprehended personal violence orders or drink driving
Legal advice is free for everybody and you do not need to apply for a grant
of legal aid to get advice. Just contact your closest Legal Aid office and make
an appointment to see a lawyer.
For legal information or advice over the phone, call LawAccess NSW on
1300 888 529 (cost of a local call from within NSW) or visit their website at
send them an email.
How to apply for Legal Aid
To apply for a grant of legal aid, you must complete a Legal Aid Application
form. Legal Aid Application Forms are not yet available online, however, you can
have a form posted to you by calling or emailing our Publications Unit (see
details, below). You can obtain Application Forms from any of our offices and
from duty lawyers at local courts. You can also ring LawAccess NSW (1300 888
529) 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday to obtain a Legal Aid application form or more
information about eligibility for a grant of aid.
In most civil and family law cases, you can also apply through a private
lawyer who does legal aid work. A private lawyer can charge you for any work not
covered by a grant of legal aid. See Law Society of NSW.
The Application Form is used to assess:
- your financial means (your income and what you own)
- the merit of your case (whether it is likely to succeed and whether the
cost can be justified)
- whether you meet Legal Aid policy guidelines.
Legal Aid is not free. Most people will have to pay a contribution. The
amount depends on your financial situation and the area of law.
Telephone Advice and Information
LawAccess NSW is a NSW wide telephone information, referral and advice
service open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. All calls are answered by
information officers who can explain:
- legal aid policies and services
- how to apply for legal aid
- how to get help with your legal problem
LawAccess also gives referrals to other services and will answer simple legal
Family and civil law advice is available from LawAccess lawyers if a caller
can't get into a legal aid office because of the following reasons:
- severe disadvantage
- the matter is considered urgent.
Telephone 1300 888 529 or 1300 889 529 TTY
Legal Aid HotLine for Under 18s
Legal Aid has a toll free telephone service for children and young people
called the Legal Aid HotLine for Under 18s. Experienced criminal lawyers with
expertise in juvenile justice, provide legal advice to young people who have
committed or are suspected of committing an offence. The service operates from
Monday - Friday: 9 am - midnight, Weekends and public holidays 24 hours service
(9am Friday to midnight Sunday night).
Telephone 1800 10 18 10 or visit