Community legal centres provide free advice and resources to the public in the Canberra region.
Community Legal Centres
COVID-19 legal help
Canberra Community Law have launched a website covering common legal areas that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canberra Community Law
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
Women's Legal Centre (ACT & Region)
The Women’s Legal Centre provides free legal advice to women in the ACT and nearby areas of New South Wales who are experiencing or at risk of ongoing harm to their safety, economic security and independence. This includes women experiencing family and domestic violence, at risk of homelessness, or who are experiencing financial difficulties.
They can provide advice on family law (separation, arrangements for the care of children, property matters and divorce), employment and discrimination, and migration (for women experiencing family violence who need help with their visa status). A social work team is available to support women who need extra assistance during their legal process.
They also provide legal and cultural support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through the Mulleun Mura Access to Justice Program, which is led and staffed by Aboriginal women.
- Intake and Advice line is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Call 02 6257 4377 or 1800 634 669.
Care Consumer Law
Care Consumer Law is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice and assistance to people in the ACT. They help consumers resolve problems with financial service providers (e.g. banks), telecommunication and utility companies, and other businesses and traders.
Care Consumer Law do not assist businesses, and do not assist in private disputes between individuals.
- Contact 02 6143 0044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT)
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.
- Call 1800 733 233 for family matters.
- Call 1800 733 233 to speak with the ALS Care and Protection practice.
- For help on police and court matters call 1800 765 767.
Animal Defender's Office
The Animal Defenders Office provides free legal advice and services to people who wish to protect animals. The Animal Defenders Office is run entirely by volunteers who donate their spare time to helping people and animals.
- Contact them on email@example.com
Environmental Defenders Office
The Environmental Defenders Office advises on environmental and planning law and aim to increase public awareness of environmental laws and remedies.
- EDO lawyers provide up to 15 minutes of free legal advice on certain planning and environmental law matters.. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Queanbeyan residents: Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre
Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre can provide legal advice to people on issues such as employment, financial hardship, tenancy, fines, parenting arrangements, family law, domestic violence and victims support, and other civil law matters. Clients should call 1800 229 529 or email@example.com to arrange a telephone appointment.
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
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.
Tenancy Advice Service
The Tenancy Advice Service helps residential tenants in the ACT. It offers a free, confidential phone service that connects you to a paralegal who can offer legal advice and assistance on a range of tenancy matters.
Call 1300 654 314 512 (8.30am to 7pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 5pm Friday) or email TAS@legalaidact.org.au.
Online live chat also available at https://tawk.to/tasact
Domestic Violence and Personal Protection Order Unit
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.
Youth Law Centre
The Youth Law Centre is dedicated to young people aged 12-25. They provide free and confidential legal advice in person, over the phone and by email.
Call (02) 6173 5410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for free legal help.
Older Persons ACT Legal Service
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.
Small Business Clinic
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
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.