How do I get Legal Help?

Telephone legal advice is available for preliminary information, advice and referrals. Advice is usually restricted to a client's basic legal rights and obligations about a particular situation. If the problem is too complex or too lengthy for a phone call, the client will be offered an appointment at a Commission office or referred to other sources of assistance.

Country callers from within South Australia can use the Legal Help Line to contact the Adelaide office for the cost of a local call. For clients unable to attend an appointment in person, a telephone advice appointment can be booked and any relevant documents can be faxed to us with the assistance of a local Families SA Office.

The Legal Services Commission ia a legal Aid for South Australia. The Legal Help Line number is 1300 366 424 which is operational between the hours of 9am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

Legal Advice Appointments

Free legal advice is available to any person on most legal matters. The role of the legal adviser is to identify the client's problem, to inform the client of their rights and obligations and to help them understand what course(s) of action can be taken. The adviser may also draft letters for clients where appropriate.

 

The Commission recognises the unique problems faced by victims of domestic violence and has put in place policies to promote access to services for victims. A worker who specialises in domestic violence is available to assist victims with legal matters where domestic violence is a factor. Appointments may be made by telephoning us on 8463 3555 or 1300 366 424. This service is free of charge.

We can advise and assist in relation to:

  • intervention order matters
  • the victim's role and rights in the criminal justice process
  • family law matters, such as arrangements for children, child support and family dispute resolution
  • care and protection (child welfare) matters
  • credit, debt and housing matters
  • immigration matters that may arise upon the breakdown of a relationship due to domestic violence

We may assist victims complete a further application for legal aid or provide referrals to other services.

If a victim requires immediate protection within South Australia, they should telephone police on 131 444.

If a victim requires other practical support, including safe accommodation, they should telephone the Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Gateway Service on 1800 800 098.

Applying for Legal Aid?

Download a Legal Aid application form as a PDF file (430kb) 
 

When services beyond simple legal advice are needed, you must apply for legal aid. A grant of legal aid means we will pay a lawyer to act for you. However, we will require you to make a contribution towards your legal costs depending on how much you can reasonably afford to pay.

To apply for aid you must fill in the application form and send it to a legal aid office together with proof of means. Usually, this will be a copy of a pension card (or, if working, two pay slips), and copies of bank statements for the last two months. These must be sent in with the application. If not, the application will simply be returned to you.

The cover of the application form need not be sent back. You should keep it because it explains the main conditions of legal aid.

If legal aid is granted, you will have to pay a contribution towards your legal costs. The minimum is $20, or $30 if you ask for representation by a private lawyer. It can be more than this, depending on your finances.

You can apply for legal aid directly to us, or if you wish to be represented by a particular private lawyer, through that person's office. Where possible, we will grant that request. If you have no particular lawyer in mind, we will arrange someone.

If legal aid is refused, you will be told why in a letter. Where aid is refused there is normally a right of appeal.

There are some cases for which we do not generally give legal aid. Often, this is because some other avenue of help is available. Also, we will not pay for cases where we think you can afford your own representation, or where the chances of success are poor.

Legal aid application forms are available from all our offices, community legal centres and most law firms.