Community legal centres are community-embedded organisations that give free help for a range of legal problems.
We do not generally work in criminal law although we do provide lots of legal services and support to victims/survivors of DV. For assistance with criminal law issues please go to the Aboriginal Legal Service or Legal Aid NSW.
We provide legal information and legal assistance in areas such as:
- Domestic violence
- Family violence
- Sexual violence
- Family law
- Traffic fines
- Credit & Debt
- Victims Compensation
- Police complaints
- and more.
Community legal centres are not part of government. We do not provide your information to government or police, and we are bound by our professional obligations and community ethics to keep your information private.
There are 42 community legal centres in NSW - from Lismore to Nowra, Broken Hill to the Sydney metropolitan. Three of these centres are Aboriginal-controlled organisations:.
- Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Service (state-wide, but based in Marrickville): http://www.wirringabaiya.org.au
- Warra Warra Legal Service at Broken Hill: https://www.warrawarra.org
- Thiyama-li Family Violence Service (Walgett, Bourke and Moree): https://thiyamali.com.au
There are also some specialist state-wide community legal centres that run Aboriginal programs, like the Indigenous Women’s Legal Program at Women’s Legal Services NSW, Mob Strong Debt Help at the Financial Rights Legal Centre, and Aboriginal Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services at the Tenants’ Union of NSW.
Apart from these Aboriginal community controlled centres and specialist services that operate Aboriginal programs, you can also find generalist community legal centres in communities right across New South Wales.
There are about 31 Aboriginal people employed across 22 community legal centres in NSW in roles such as Solicitors, Paralegals Community Legal Education Officers, Community Development Workers, Children’s Court Assistance Scheme Workers, Legal Information Officers, Administrators, Financial Legal Advocates, Program Coordinators, and Centre Managers.
Many community legal centres, in partnership with other legal assistance providers, provide outreach legal services to many communities across NSW. Some of these outreach services have been paused because of COVID-19, but will resume when it is safe. Where outreach services are paused, community legal centres continue to run phone services and are working to make it easier for people to access our services by phone and internet.
Need free legal help?
Community legal centres help thousands of people every single day with a whole range of issues – housing, fines, family matters, domestic and family violence, and more.
Call Law Access on 1300 888 529 or use our online directory to find out who to speak to.