We can provide a range of legal support services to WA women facing disadvantage (see Who we help for further info). While we don’t assist with all kinds of legal matters, we focus on the areas of law where women are the most affected.
Information and referrals
We may be able to provide you with legal information to assist with your situation. If you require assistance or support of a legal or non-legal nature that we can’t provide, we can refer you to service providers who can help. We can help by providing:
- Explanation of information you have read online or heard elsewhere
- Details on your various options (whether or not you should proceed with an option requires legal advice,
- Answering questions about which court form to fill out, or providing information on court practices and procedures
- Information on the appropriate agency or person to talk to
- Information on what to expect
- Helping you access and adapt free, reliable legal resources provided by us or by other organisations or websites
Many women find once they have the right information, and are able to talk through and understand their options, they are able to make the choices that suit them.
To assist you with this we have developed a range of resources and self-help kits.
We always try to assist you, but if we can’t help, we’ll always try to refer you to someone who can. Legal issues often intersect with other needs, so we can also offer non-legal referrals to community organisations and non-legal service providers such as counselling, social workers and refuges.
Legal advice and assistance
As a community legal centre we can provide legal advice and assistance to WA women who are experiencing disadvantage (see Who we help for more info). To access our legal advice you need to request an appointment (see How we help you page for more info)
Advice can be provided in a number of ways including:
- In person at our offices in Perth CBD
- In person at another location where we offer specialist services
- By telephone (or Skype or WebEx)
- By letter (where appropriate)
Advice appointments are generally 1 hour, but may be longer depending on your issues. If your matter is complex, one of our volunteer law students may gather further information from you to ensure the lawyer is able to consider all the relevant aspects of your situation. That way the lawyer can use their limited time with you to provide more detailed advice.
Subject to our availability we can sometimes provide other legal assistance with tasks such as:
- drafting a letter for you to another party
- helping you draft an email or letter to a court
- writing to a court on your behalf to request an extension of time to allow you to obtain legal advice
- with your authority, speak to a court or Department of Communities to find out more information about your matter for you
- draft a court document
During your appointment, the lawyer will discuss whether we have the capacity to assist you with any legal tasks in your matter.
Representation in court
Our focus is to provide women with information, support and assistance so they can better represent themselves in their own legal matters.
While our capacity and our funding severely limits our ability to be able to represent you in court, sometimes we may have the resources to represent you at an individual hearing. We may also be able to assist you to prepare for a trial and to apply for pro bono (free) legal representation from a private lawyer. We will discuss this with you at your appointment.
It’s important to note that the ability for us to represent you in an ongoing way is very limited. It will depend on our capacity, on your situation, on the legal issues you are dealing with, and whether you are eligible to receive support from other services.