There is a range of ways you can access our services.
The Client Services Officers who attend calls made to our office are able to provide legal information. They are not able to provide legal advice. They can help if you:
- Aren’t sure where to start looking to find answers to a legal problem.
- Want some general information about where best to get help for a legal problem.
- Need referral to an appropriate service.
- Want to know whether you should request an advice appointment or should see a lawyer.
- Need to make an appointment to see one of our lawyers, if you are facing a range of complex legal matters. By gathering information from you over the phone before your appointment, the CSO can get an idea of your situation and ensure your appointment time is spent providing you with advice.
Legal advice appointments
When you require legal advice, you will need to meet with a lawyer.
Appointments can be made by contacting (08) 9272 8800 or 1800 625 122 (country callers) between 9:30am and 4:00pm weekdays. Please be aware that we receive a large volume of calls each day, and sometimes it can sometimes be difficult to get through. If this is the case then you are welcome to complete our online appointment request form.
We understand that sometimes urgent situations arise that are beyond your control. All requests for urgent appointments are referred to our Principal Legal Officer, and we try to make accommodation where possible. Please explain the urgency when you first speak to our Client Service Officer so that we can can assess your matter and our capacity. If we can’t assist we will endeavour to refer you to someone that can.
You can request an appointment yourself, and we also take requests for appointments made by community service workers on your behalf.
We only book appointments two weeks in advance. This gives us the flexibility to accommodate urgent matters that may come up. It also means appointments book out quickly, so it is important to call as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the week of your court hearing before reaching out!
If it becomes apparent during your call that the matter is more complex and that you may need more time to obtain assistance from us, one of our volunteers may call you.
Our volunteer law students will listen to your situation and take instructions from you about the history of your matter for the lawyer you will be meeting with. They can also refer you to other legal and non-legal service providers.
We are only able to offer this service when we have volunteers available.
Before the appointment
It is a requirement for us to gather the following information from you before we make your appointment.
- Your name, date of birth and a safe email address and phone number where we can contact you.
- The name of the other person involved and their dates of birth (if known). This can include your current partner, former partner, parents of children in your care and anyone caring for your children.
- Whether you hold a concession card, have experienced family violence or financial disadvantage. Our funding requires we only assist women experiencing disadvantage (see Who we help for more info)
- The general nature of your situation and problem.
- If it is a children’s matter we will need their names and dates of birth.
- If you or any of your children identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. It is possible you may be eligible to receive additional support via our Djinda Services.
- If there are any court hearings, the date of the next one and a summary of any proceedings.
Once we have all the information, we will undertake a conflict check to make sure we are ethically able to provide legal advice to you. We also have to assess our capacity to assist you. If we can’t help, we’ll always do our best to refer you to someone who can.