Where to find legal help in the ACT
Option 1: Legal Aid ACT
- Call the Legal Aid Helpline for free information or to make an appointment for legal advice
- Free or low-cost legal representation by applying for a Grant of Legal Aid. Eligibility for a Grant of Legal Aid depends on your income and assets, and whether you have a strong legal case.
Contact Legal Aid ACT
T: 1300 654 314 (helpline)
Option 2: Community Legal Centres
Contact a specialist Community Legal Centre (most have eligibility guidelines).
Contact a specialist CLC
Specialist Community Legal Centres include:
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)
1800 765 767 (police charges and court matters)
1800 733 233 (care and protection and family matters)
Canberra Community Law (formerly Welfare Rights and Legal Centre) is a community legal centre providing legal services to people on low incomes or facing other disadvantage in Canberra and its region.
(02) 6218 7977 or 1800 445 665 (free call)
(02) 6218 7999 (night advice)
(02) 6218 7995 (Street Law)
(02) 6218 7977 (Housing Law)
(02) 6218 7918 (Disability Discrimination Law)
Consumer Law Centre of the ACT
The Consumer Law Centre provides free legal advice in the areas of consumer credit (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans), debt recovery, banking, bankruptcy, insurance, simple contracts, and general fair trading and consumer protection.
(02) 6143 0044
Environmental Defenders Office (ACT branch)
0491 243 638
National Debt Helpline
1800 007 007
Women’s Legal Centre ACT
(02) 6257 4377 or 1800 634 669 (outside Canberra)
Youth Law Australia is a community legal service that provides free and confidential legal advice, assistance and referrals to anyone 25 or under.
(02) 9385 9588
Youth Law Centre is Canberra’s free legal service dedicated to young people aged 12-25.
(02) 6173 5410
Option 3: Everyday Justice
- Everyday Justice is a not-for-profit law firm owned by Mills Oakley
- A national free legal service to help people and organisations who have ‘everyday’ legal issues but can’t afford a lawyer or access to Legal Aid
- Cannot help with: family law, criminal law, immigration, property, Centrelink matters, NDIS or workers compensation
Contact Everyday Justice
T: 1800 161 196
Option 4: Legal help in Court
Duty lawyer services
Free legal assistance available at certain courts:
- Children’s Court – criminal law matters
- Family Court
- Magistrates Court — criminal law matters, interim domestic violence orders and personal protection orders.
- ACAT – clients detained under the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act
Legal Aid duty lawyer service
The duty lawyer service is free and can be accessed by everyone. To access the duty lawyer, ask court staff to direct you.
Justice Connect Self-Representation Service
For matters in the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court:
- Free information and face-to-face advice about representing yourself in Court
- Limited to bankruptcy, Fair Work or employment law, Federal discrimination law and judicial review of Federal government decisions
Contact Justice Connect
Justice Connect can provide task-orientated assistance in preparation for court such as assistance in preparing documents. Appointments must be pre-booked through their website.
T: 1800 727 550
Court-appointed legal assistance
For matters in the Federal Court of Australia:
- Court referrals to private lawyers who can assist for free or at low cost (that is, pro bono)
- Limited to cases where there is no other free legal help available
Federal Court of Australia
Option 5: ACT Pro Bono Clearing House
- Matches people to a law firm or community legal centre that can provide free legal assistance
- Cannot help in family law matters
Contact the ACT Pro Bono Clearing House
T: (02) 6274 0300
Option 6: Legal info
Legal information can help you decide on the best solution for your legal problem. Our Self-help legal information page has a list of websites where you can find simple legal information.