Getting help

Find out where you can go to get free legal advice and assistance.

General legal assistance

Community Legal Centres NSW

Community legal centres (CLCs) give free legal help to people in need. They are independent, confidential, and not part of the government.

Their Find Legal Help website will ask you a few questions and match you with a community legal centre that may be able to help. You can then contact the centre directly for help.

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW provides legal information to anyone with a legal problem in NSW through their legal information and referral service, LawAccess NSW. You can contact LawAccess by using their chat service or by calling 1300 888 529. They are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

If you need a lawyer and don’t have enough money to pay, you may be able to get help from a Legal Aid NSW lawyer. LawAccess NSW can tell you if you are eligible and can book an appointment for you to speak with a lawyer.

Legal Aid NSW lawyers can support you with criminal matters involving the police, family matters involving children or a relationship breakdown, or civil matters where you are having trouble with a fundamental need like housing, income support or access to health and disability supports.

Community Justice Centres

Community Justice Centres (CJC) provide free mediation to help people solve disagreements or resolve disputes without going to court. The CJC service is confidential, easy to use and voluntary. There are no waiting lists and services are provided throughout NSW.

Service NSW

Go to Service NSW to find government information and services, including relationships, business, employment, rebates and assistance, driving and transport, education, health, housing, and the police. You will also find assistance if you have been affected by storms, floods, bushfires and other disasters.

Help for targeted groups of people

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Aboriginal Legal Service is an Aboriginal community organisation giving information, referral, legal advice, and court representation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children across NSW and the ACT. 

ALS works in criminal law, children's care and protection law, and family law, and provides information and referral for civil law. They also assist with Work and Development Orders, and their Custody Notification Service provides early legal advice for Aboriginal people taken into police custody.

If you need a lawyer, please contact the ALS on one of these toll free numbers:

  • for police charges and court matters call 1800 765 767
  • for care and protection and family matters call 1800 733 233.

Find more places to get help on our Legal information for Aboriginal people page.

For women

Women’s Legal Service NSW (WLS NSW) is a community legal centre providing women with a range of free community legal services, including legal advice and information, education, training and resources across metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales.

WLS NSW provides a free service for all women in the community, particularly for those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Women can obtain free legal advice over the phone by phoning the Women’s Legal Advice Line or one of their specialist telephone advice lines including the Domestic Violence Legal Service and the Working Women's Legal Service.

For children and young people

Children's Legal Service, Legal Aid NSW

The Children's Legal Service, Legal Aid NSW advises and represents children and young people under 18 involved in criminal cases and Apprehended Violence Order applications in the Children's Courts. They aim to ensure that children and young people have access to professional, face-to-face or telephone based legal advice at any stage of their legal proceedings.

Youth Law Australia

Youth Law Australia is a community legal service dedicated to helping children and young people in Australia and their supporters find a legal solution to their problems.

They provide free and confidential legal advice, assistance and referrals to young people and their advocates via their online service.

Youth Legal Service

The Marrickville Legal Centre’s Youth Legal Service (YLS) offers free legal information, advice and assistance to young people 25 years and younger, across NSW. The Monday evening YLS clinic can assist young people with legal issues such as employment law, traffic and minor criminal charges, owing and being owed money, consumer law issues, car accidents, and problems at home. If you have a problem or question, you can submit a webform or call 02 9559 2899.

For people with a disability

Australian Centre for Disability Law

The Australian Centre for Disability Law provides free legal advice on disability discrimination to people in NSW. Contact the Centre on (02) 7229 0061 or 1800 800 708 between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and between 1.30pm and 4.30pm on Thursdays or send them a message

Intellectual Disability Rights Service

The Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) is a free service for people with cognitive impairment across NSW. You do not need an NDIS package to access the service. The IDRS provides help with legal problems, support persons at police stations and courts, advocacy, support to appeal decisions of the National Disability Insurance Agency, rights education for people with cognitive impairment, and support and assistance for parents with intellectual disability at risk of losing care of their children.

The IDRS also runs the Justice Advocacy Service (JAS). JAS supports young people and adults with cognitive impairment in contact with the NSW criminal justice system, including as victims, witnesses and suspects/defendants to exercise their rights and fully participate in the process.

For older people

NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline

The NSW Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline is a free, confidential service that provides information, support and referrals relating to the abuse of older people living in the community across NSW. 

Individuals, concerned friends, family members, neighbours and support workers can call 1800 628 221 if they suspect elder abuse is occurring. 

Seniors Rights Service

The Seniors Rights Service is a community legal centre that protects the rights of older people. They provide telephone advice, advocacy, legal advice and educational services.

For migrants

Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC)

The Immigration Advice and Rights Centre provides free information, legal advice and representation to people in NSW in relation to family and humanitarian migration, citizenship and visa cancellations, with a particular focus on assisting people on temporary visas who have experienced family violence.

See where to find information in community languages on our Legal information in community languages page.

About your money

Financial Abuse Legal Service

Redfern Legal Centre's Financial Abuse Legal Service provides free, confidential legal information and advice to people across NSW who have money problems due to domestic abuse in an intimate partner relationship.

Financial Rights Legal Centre

The Financial Rights Legal Centre is a community legal centre specialising in financial services, particularly in relation to consumer credit, banking and debt recovery.  You can call their Legal Advice Line on 1800 844 949 Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm, or call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.


GambleAware has information and resources about problem gambling, including videos, fact sheets, and sources of free face-to-face and online counselling services.

Find information on their website, or call them any time (24 hours a day) on 1800 858 858.

Welfare Rights Centre

The Welfare Rights Centre is a community legal centre specialising in social security law.

They can advise people about their social security rights, entitlements and obligations and assist people through the social security review and appeals system, including Centrelink internal review, the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

About renting

Tenants' Union of NSW provides information, advice and advocacy for NSW residential tenants. Contact your local tenant advocate for advice. 

About identity theft and scams

ID Support NSW

ID Support NSW makes it easier for people to access help if their NSW Government proof of identity credentials are stolen or fraudulently used.

If your identity has been compromised, ID Support can help by giving:

  • advice on compromised identification documents and how to restore the security of your identity 
  • guidance on how to keep your personal identity information safe
  • options for additional support and counselling services.

Contact ID Support online or on 1800 001 040 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.


IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service. It is a not-for-profit charity and does not ask individuals to donate or pay for their services. It provides advice on how to respond to data breaches, scams, identity theft, and cyber security concerns.

Contact IDCARE online or on 1800 595 160 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

About consumer law

NSW Fair Trading safeguards the rights of consumers in NSW. You can contact them for assistance by phone, online or over the counter at Service NSW centres.

About the environment

The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) NSW provides free initial legal advice on planning and environmental law matters. In very limited circumstances they may be able to provide more detailed advice and/or representation. 

They also have a range of environmental law fact sheets and guides.

Ombudsman services

You can contact an ombudsman if you wish to make a complaint or resolve a problem with a government agency. There are a number of ombudsman services available.

  • The NSW Ombudsman is responsible for the independent oversight and scrutiny of government agencies and some non-government organisations that provide services to the people of NSW.
  • The Commonwealth Ombudsman deals with complaints about Commonwealth Government departments and agencies.
  • The Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) provides a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for all electricity and gas customers in NSW, and some water customers.
  • The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is the dispute resolution scheme for financial services. They consider complaints about credit, finance and loans; insurance; banking deposits and payments; investments and financial advice; and superannuation.
  • The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman provides an independent dispute resolution service for customers who have a complaint about their telephone or internet service in Australia.

Using a lawyer

Law Society of NSW Find a Lawyer services

The Law Society of NSW provides information and referral services that help members of the public to identify qualified solicitors who offer legal services appropriate to their needs.

Services provided by the Law Society include the Find a Lawyer search, the Solicitor Referral Service, and their Pro Bono Scheme.

Office of the Legal Services Commissioner​

​The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) is an independent statutory body that deals with complaints about lawyers.

In addition to receiving complaints, the Legal Services Commissioner oversees the investigation of complaints, plays a major role in resolving consumer matters, and may take disciplinary action against a solicitor or barrister, or commence disciplinary proceedings in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

You and your lawyer

The Hot Topics issue You and your lawyer provides information about the role of lawyers, practical information about how to work with a lawyer, lawyers duties, ethics, costs, and complaints.

Crisis hotlines

  • Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services - ph: 13 11 14
  • Mental Health Line - 24/7 support line, ph: 1800 011 511
  • headspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 - ph: 1800 650 890, 9am – 1am 7 days
  • Kids Helpline is a 24/7 telephone counselling service for children and teenagers - ph: 1800 55 1800
  • GambleAware is a 24/7 telephone, face to face and online service to assist those who have gambling problems as well as their families and communities - ph: 1800 858 858
  • Mensline is a 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationships concerns - ph: 1300 78 99 78
  • Parent Line is a telephone help line for parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years in NSW - ph: 1300 1300 52, Weekdays 9am to 9pm, weekends 4pm to 9pm
  • The Domestic Violence Line is a NSW 24/7 telephone crisis counselling and referral service - ph: 1800 65 64 63