Community legal centres provide free advice and resources to the public in the Canberra region.
Community Legal Centres
Canberra Community Law have launched a website covering common legal areas that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canberra Community Law is a community legal centre providing legal services to people on low incomes or facing other disadvantage in Canberra and its region.
- Night Time Legal Advice Service provides information, referral or one-off legal advice in most areas of law. Call 6218 7999 or drop in (Tuesdays 6-8pm from February to December each year).
- The Dhurrawang Aboriginal Human Rights Program provides legal assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on ACT Public Housing, Centrelink and race discrimination. Call 6218 7900.
- Housing Law can provide free legal advice if you are having problems with Housing ACT or a community housing provider in the ACT. Call 6218 7977.
- Disability Discrimination Law can help if you have been discriminated against because of your disability. Call 6218 7918.
- Street Law provides legal help to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Call 6218 7995.
- Social Security Law can help you with Centrelink and Social Security matters if you are living in the ACT or south east NSW. Call 6218 7977.
- The Socio-Legal Practice Clinic can provide intensive legal and social work support. Call 6218 7900.
Canberra Community Law does not provide advice/assistance on:
- Private tenancy matters
- Immigration and refugee matters
- Matters involving neighbourhood disputes
- Family law property/settlement matters
- Workers compensation matters
- Matters which may lead to the eviction of a tenant (subject to limited exceptions, e.g. family violence)
- Advice to credit providers, landlords, or employers where the rights of creditors, tenants and employees may be at stake
The Women’s Legal Centre is run by women and aims to improve women’s access to justice. Their main areas of practice are family law, domestic violence, victims of crime, employment and discrimination.
- The Centre offers free, confidential telephone advice Monday to Friday 9.30am to 12 noon. Call 6257 4499.
The Aboriginal Legal Service is an Aboriginal community organisation giving information and referral, and legal advice and court representation, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children across NSW and ACT.
- Legal Aid ACT and the Aboriginal Legal Service staff a clinic to provide legal advice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members on family law, care and protection, and general/civil matters. The clinic runs fortnightly on Wednesday afternoons, offering half hour advice sessions. Call 6249 8488 to make an appointment.
The Consumer Law Centre provides free legal advice and assistance to low and moderate income consumers, primarily in the areas of consumer credit, telecommunications and utilities, fair trading and consumer protection.
- The Consumer Debt Enforcement Clinic provides legal services to individual consumers affected by debts that are being enforced, or at risk of being enforced, in court. Call 6143 0044 to make an appointment.
The Environmental Defender’s Office advises on environmental and planning law and aim to increase public awareness of environmental laws and remedies.
- They offer a free initial advice service of up to two hours on questions relating to the environmental law. Call 6243 3460 to make an appointment.
The Animal Defenders Office specialises in animal law. They assist individuals and groups with matters affecting animals and their (human) defenders.
Legal Aid ACT helps people in the ACT with their legal problems, especially people who are socially or economically disadvantaged. They can help in criminal law, family law and some civil law matters.
Legal Aid ACT
Legal Aid Helpline is a free, confidential phone service that will connect you to a paralegal, who can:
- Provide you with legal information;
- Help you work out what to do next to resolve your legal problem;
- Organise appointments for you to obtain free legal advice;
- Tell you the best the place to go for more help;
- Send you information and resources relating to your legal problem; and
- Send you an application form for a grant of legal assistance.
Call 1300 654 314 from 8.30am to 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8.30am to 8pm on Wednesdays, and 8.30am to 5pm on Fridays.
The Domestic Violence and Personal Protection Order Unit provides free legal help from specialist domestic and family violence lawyers. Call 6207 1874 or 1300 654 314 for an appointment. For emergenices, SMS 0427 143 401 or Email Civil@legalaidact.org.au.
The Older Persons ACT Legal Service provides legal assistance to older people in the Canberra region with legal problems, including elder abuse. Call 6243 3436 for assistance, or contact the National Elder Abuse Hotline on 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374).
The Migration Clinic offers free legal information and advice if you have an immigration problem. Call 1300 654 314.
The Small Business Clinic assists small business operators with legal problems or queries concerning their business. Call 6243 3471 for a 30 minute consultation between 2pm and 5pm Thursdays.
Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free national service giving information and legal advice to people about safely sharing their story with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Call 1800 77 1800 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.