The role of Legal Aid
Legal Aid NSW provides legal services to disadvantaged clients across NSW in most areas of criminal, family and civil law.
Legal Aid NSW helps people with their legal problems. Our legal services include legal advice, help at court and family dispute resolution. We can help in most areas of criminal law, family law an civil law.
What legal Advice they offer and someareas of law they don't advise on
A lawyer will give you one-off free legal advice about your issue. They will also tell you whether you may be eligible for further assistance or a grant of legal aid for a lawyer to represent you in your case.
We don't provide advice about the following areas of law.
- Business matters, including new business information, partnerships, contracts, leases and franchises (unless the problem is connected to an issue with a friend or family member such as divorce, a partner's debt or being a guarantor for a loan).
- Commercial investment matters.
- Written employment contracts for new employment before entering into the contract. We might be able to provide legal advice about the employment contract once a client is in employment depending on how complex the contract is.
- Local planning and development disputes.
- Taxation matters.
- While we can provide advice on wills, powers of attorney and guardianship appointments, we cannot prepare these documents for you.
- Workers compensation.
- Intellectual property/trademarks/patents.
- Strata title disputes if you have not yet tried mediation (unless your dispute is about strata title levy debts).
- Neighbourhood disputes if you have not yet tried mediation.
- Legal advice about retirement village contracts before entering into a contract. However, we do provide legal advice once you are in a retirement village.
- Disputes within not-for profit-organisations/articles of association.
Who is eligible for Legal Aid?
An example of a success story
Our criminal law advocates prepare cases and appear in trials and sentence matters in the District Court.
One of our advocates assisted a man who was granted legal aid so that he could defend a charge of Break, Enter and Steal.
The Crown case consisted of an eye witness and a disputed confession. Our client said he had not been there and disputed the alleged confession.
Our client came from an extremely disadvantaged background and was unable to read and write. He had left school at a very young age. He had no idea about his basic legal rights and found the process overwhelming.
Conducted in front of a judge and jury, the trial involved the law regarding identification evidence, alibis and the rules about confessions to the police.