LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Need more help?

If you need more help w​​​ith your problem, you should get legal advice.

You may be able to get legal advice from:​​

    ​LawAccess​ NSW​

    We are a free government telephone service that provides legal information, re​ferrals and in some cases, advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW. You can call us on 1300 888 529 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). For more information, see Contact LawAccess NSW​.

    As different service providers have different policies about the people they can help, LawAccess NSW can help you find the most appropriate place to give you legal advice.

    For some kinds of legal problems, and for people on a higher income, paying a private solicitor may be the only option. LawAccess NSW can also arrange a referral to a private solicitor through the Law Society of NSW - Solicitor Referral Service.

    ​Legal Aid NSW

    Legal Aid NSW has a central office in Sydney and 21 metropolitan and regional offices. Anyone can get free face-to-face legal advice at a legal aid office, and appointments are usually limited to about 20 minutes.

    Some people may get a grant of legal aid for legal representation in their case. Grants of legal aid are only available in some kinds of cases, for people who are eligible based on their income and assets. Legal aid is not free - most people will have to pay a contribution, depending on their financial circumstances and the kind of case.

    For more information, go to the Legal Aid NSW website.

    Community Legal Centres NSW

    Community Legal Centres NSW offer a range of free legal services including information and referral, as well as advice on legal matters. They also provide legal casework and representation in targeted areas of law.

    Some centres provide legal advice over the phone and hold interview and advice sessions after business hours.

    For more information, go to the CLC NSW website

    Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited

    Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited (ALS) does legal work in criminal law, children's care and protection law and family law.

    ALS assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children through representation in court, advice and information, and referral to further support services.

    ALS has 23 offices across NSW and ACT.

    For more information, go to the ALS website.

    Law Society of NSW Pro Bono Scheme

    The Law Society of NSW Pro Bono Scheme can put people in contact with law firms willing to provide their legal services for free or reduced fees.

    Legal services may include legal advice, help with preparing documentation and representation in court.

    To be eligible for assistance under the Scheme, applicants must:

    • have applied for and been refused Legal Aid assistance for their legal matter (proof of this is required)
    • satisfy the means assessment applied by the Scheme
    • have a matter that has merit and/or reasonable prospects of success
    • have a type of matter covered by the Scheme.

    For more information, see The Pro Bono Scheme on the Law Society of NSW website. 

    NSW Bar Association Legal Assistance Referral Scheme

    The NSW Bar Association's Legal Assistance Referral Scheme (LARS) tries to match requests for legal assistance with a barrister or mediator who may be able to give advice, appear on a person's behalf or settle a legal issue. A person must fill out an application form which is carefully considered.

    For more information, go to the LARS Guidelines section of the NSW Bar Association website.

    Financial Counsellors' Association of NSW Inc

    If you have debts that you are worried about or you are having financial problems, it is a good idea to see a financial counsellor as well as getting legal advice. Financial counsellors are free and can give you information and help with your financial problems. A financial counsellor might give you strategies for negotiating with creditors, work out a budget or work out a payment plan. Financial counsellors do not give legal advice.

    The Financial Counsellors' Association of NSW refers people to free community financial counselling services.

    For more information, go to the FCAN website. ​

    Photo of man on telephone
    Photo of woman on telephone

    ​Further informat​​ion

    ​​​Le​​​gal Aid NSW

    ​​​Law Society of NSW - The Pro Bono Scheme

    Law Society of NSW - Solicitor Referral Service