I need help finding a lawyer
If you need a lawyer and you are facing financial difficulties, you may be eligible for free legal support depending on your personal circumstances and the legal issue you are experiencing. The NSW Government funds free legal support services and community legal centres across the state.
You can also check out our page with information about going to court, which provides a detailed breakdown of the court process, including what a defendant and a prosecutor will do on the day.
LawAccess is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, advice and referrals for people who have a legal problem in NSW.
LawAccess NSW can refer you on to Legal Aid, or to the community legal centre that's most appropriate for your legal issue. Call LawAccess on 1300 888 529.
Community Legal Centres
Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are independent non-government organisations that provide free legal services to people and communities who may be facing economic hardship and discrimination.
There are 40 CLCs in NSW. You can use the recommendation service to find a legal centre based on your location and specific legal issue, or browse the full list on the NSW CLC website.
Women’s Legal Service NSW
Wallumatta Legal family law firm
Wallumatta Legal is a low fee, not-for-profit law firm that assists clients with family law issues exclusively. They primarily help people who don’t qualify for free legal services but who also can’t afford to pay a private law firm.
Pro bono legal services
Not eligible for legal aid or assistance from a community legal centre and can’t afford to pay a lawyer? Check out the list below for alternative options offering pro bono (free) legal services and guidance.
I’d like to find a private practice lawyer
The Law Society of NSW
Choosing the right solicitor, firm or mediator is the first step in achieving your legal goals. The Law Society of NSW maintains a list of lawyers and can assist you in finding the right solicitor for your location, legal issue and needs.
Can I represent myself?
Deciding to represent yourself is a big decision, especially as the outcome of your case would depend on if you can successfully defend yourself in court. Before deciding to represent yourself, consider if you would benefit from professional representation.
If you do decide to represent yourself, you should be prepared to do plenty of research about the law, understand your rights and study information relevant to your particular court case to best defend yourself.
Preparing for your court case
A good place to start learning about the legal system, court processes and how to prepare legal documents is on the LawAccess NSW website. It also provides important information on mediation, negotiation and general skills and resources to prepare yourself for court. Also, check out our page for more information about going to court
Attending court and watching a similar case to yours can also be a good way to learn how the court process works. Court registrars can also explain to you how the court system works. However, they cannot provide you legal advice.
We also recommend you visit the LawAccess NSW glossary for a brief summary of some commonly used legal terms.
Resources for self-representation
To help you understand the legal system, court processes and how to prepare legal documents, LawAccess NSW is a good place to start learning.
Legal Aid NSW
Legal Aid NSW is a state-wide organisation that provides legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged people across NSW. Catering to people in over 30 different languages, the organisation delivers legal services across criminal law, family law, civil law, domestic and family violence and specialist services.
For information across these topics as well as resources visit the Legal Aid NSW website.
You can also call Legal Aid NSW on 1300 888 529.
Legal Answers - State Library New South Wales
The State Library New South Wales has an extensive list of legal information to help you prepare for your court case. Topics for legal information and resources include:
- Family, relationships and children
- Wills, estate and planning ahead
- Police and crime
- Fines, debt and money
- Courts and the legal system
- Work and employment
- Government and rights
As a joint facility of the UTS and UNSW Faculties of Law, Austlii is one of Australia's most visited websites offering free access to Australian legislation and case law. Please note that this site can be quite complex as it presents legislation and case law in their original reported formats, and you may need the services of a lawyer to interpret the rules established in each case.