Local Court

Where to get legal advice and information


Court cases and the law can be complicated. You should consider getting legal advice about your case before you commence legal proceedings or attend court. 

Staff at the courts or tribunals can give you certain information, such as what forms to fill in, but they cannot give you legal advice. 

LawAccess NSW

LawAccess NSW is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and in some cases, advice.

If you are going to court, have a legal problem or have a question about the law, LawAccess NSW can:

  • give you legal information over the telephone
  • send you written information
  • refer you to another legal or related service
  • in some cases, arrange for one of their lawyers to provide you with telephone legal advice

LawAccess NSW is a great starting point to search for information about the law and legal issues.

Call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529.

LawAssist

LawAssist is a website that can help you if you have a legal problem in New South Wales and are representing yourself. It explains legal procedures and forms for court and tribunal cases.

The information it provides includes:

  • resources on a range of topics including debt (small claims); car accidents; Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs), fines and fence issues 
  • step-by-step guides to running your case
  • instructions for filling out court forms
  • checklists and frequently asked questions
  • information on alternatives to court
  • contacts for further information and advice

Legal Information Access Centre

The Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) is a specialised legal research and information centre for the public. Law librarians at the centre can help you find legal information relevant to your issue. The LIAC website provides helpful legal answers to everyday questions about the law in New South Wales.

Also see Find a law library

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW provides free legal advice and help in court. Legal Aid duty lawyers are available at local courts and many other courts and tribunals.

Support for women attending court is provided by the Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service. The Children's Court Assistance Scheme provides legal assistance to children.

Find out more about:

Sydney District Court Duty Registrar Service

Sydney District Court provides a Duty Registrar Service, primarily for unrepresented litigants. The duty registrar does not provide legal advice, but can provide procedural advice in relation to proceedings that have commenced or are to be commenced.

Women's Legal Services

Women's Legal Services provides a free community legal service for women in New South Wales. Funded by the Commonwealth Government, its services include a Domestic Violence Legal Service, a special legal advice and advocacy service for women subjected to domestic violence.

Community Legal Centres

There are numerous Community Legal Centres (CLCs) across the state which you can consult about different legal matters.

These are independent community organisations that provide free legal advice and related services to people and communities facing economic, social or cultural disadvantage.

To find a Community Legal Centre near you or one that deals with your particular matter, search the CLC directory and map.

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Legal services for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders

There are a range of legal advice, information and court support services directed at Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

For details, see Court support for Aboriginal people.

Finding a lawyer to represent you in court

Law Society of NSW 

The Law Society provides an online search to help you find a qualified lawyer suitable for your needs. You will need to pay fees for the lawyer.

See the Law Society of NSW Solicitor Referral Service.

Pro bono or free legal representation

Pro bono is a Latin term meaning 'for the public good' and when it comes to the legal profession, it describes work undertaken voluntarily by lawyers in the interests of society.

Law Society of NSW Pro Bono Scheme

The Law Society of NSW may be able to do a pro bono referral to a solicitor if you have been turned down by legal aid and cannot afford legal fees.

The Law Society of NSW Pro Bono Scheme refers eligible people to private solicitors who have agreed to provide legal services free or at reduced costs. The scheme covers only certain matters, including criminal cases, wills and estates and immigration law.

Legal Assistance Referral Scheme

The Legal Assistance Referral Scheme (LARS)is run by the NSW Bar Association. It refers people on low incomes to barristers or mediators who may be able to give advice, appear for you or settle your matter.

Court-based pro bono assistance

You may be able to get referral to pro bono assistance through the district or supreme courts if you have been unable to get other legal help.

For more information see: Supreme Court pro bono legal assistance.

 

 

 

Need legal help?

Call LawAccess NSW for free legal information. Telephone 1300 888 529

Can court staff assist?  

Find out what assistance court or registry staff can give you.

Confused about legal terms?  

Use the legal dictionary at LawAssist.

​​The information on this site is a guide only and is not legal advice - see disclaimer.