Surveys have shown that most people want to settle a dispute through mediation without engaging in a lengthy legal battle. Some legal problems, however, may require the help and advice of a lawyer. Thankfully, you can get free legal counsel in the state of New South Wales (NSW), depending on the merits of your case.
Here are five places to look for legal advice that will help you decide your next steps.
The Law Society of NSW
An association of solicitors in New South Wales, the Law Society of NSW offers legal information and lawyer referral services to help people identify solicitors who meet their needs.
The Law Society evaluates a case and then recommends three law firms that specialize in specific legal matters. The agency also has a website with a searchable database of solicitors under the “Find a Lawyer” link.
The Law Society does not, however, refer to a particular law firm. Instead, it provides information about solicitors who have experience in your case.
NSW Bar Association
The NSW Bar Association is an association for practising barristers in New South Wales. It runs different schemes, such as the “Duty Barrister Scheme” and the “Referral Scheme,” designed to support people who cannot afford a lawyer.
Legal assistance is usually free if the case has legitimate grounds. Also, the NSW Bar Association’s website includes the “Find a Barrister” page, through which people can approach a barrister for legal advice.
LawAccess is a government-operated telephone service that provides recommendations and legal information for free. You can contact LawAccess NSW from Monday to Friday (except on public holidays) between 9:00 and 17:00 on – 1300 888 529 – to get advice on legal issues.
Anyone representing themselves, before a tribunal or a court, can use the LawAssist feature on their website for obtaining information on a range of legal problems.
Legal Aid NSW
Legal Aid NSW is another government-backed agency that aims to provide citizens with free help and advice on issues related to the system of law. The initial free consultation, however, is limited to 20 minutes.
Community Legal Centres
The NSW Community Legal Centres are independent, non-profit organizations that care for people from low-income groups, ensuring that they get justice.
With your consent, Community Legal Centres can negotiate on your behalf, prepare the necessary documentation, and represent you in court. There are some centres in New South Wales, which specialise in specific domains, such as immigration, tenancy, debt, or disability.
All the above agencies have a list of NSW courts, where they will defend charges against you, depending on your case and geographical location.
Regardless of which agency you choose, it is crucial to remember that you should be able to communicate with your lawyer for solutions and the successful closure of your case.