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Legal Aid Funding

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Legal Aid NSW

Ground Floor
323 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000

PO Box: K847
Haymarket 1238

DX 5 Sydney

Telephone: (02) 9219 5000
Fax: (02) 9219 5935
TTY: (02) 9219 5126

Directory of Legal Aid Offices

Telephone Advice

New South Wales 1  legal aid litigation funding pro bono

Applying for Legal Aid

Specialist Services

Specialist Services

Legal Aid has Specialist Legal services with independent advice in the areas of:

  • Child Support Advice
  • Children and Young People
  • Community Legal Centres
  • Coronial Inquest Matters
  • Family Dispute Resolution
  • Human Rights Committee
  • Mental Health Advice
  • Older Persons Legal Unit
  • Prisoners Service
  • Veterans Advocacy
  • Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Program

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Legal Information web sites

  • LawAccess NSW has a larger collection of useful resources, organised in the same way as Find Legal Answers.
  • Find Legal Answers (LIAC) The guide lists useful resources, organised by topic, that are available on the web and in print. Many items are available from Public Libraries.
  • Legal Aid NSW has an index of legal topics that lists organisations and web sites that may help you.

Litigation Funds

There are private companies that will "back" some cases. Their fees and interest rates reflect the risk involved for them. They may only cover your lawyer's costs, and not cover any costs awarded against you. There are many implications of such arrangements and you need to discuss with your solicitor. Some solicitors choose not to be involved with these arrangements.

Some financial institutions also have special lending arrangements to assist with litigation. Where available, these can be cheaper than litigation funds. But, the money has to be paid back whether you win or loose.

No Win No Fee

Many personal injury lawyers offer "No Win - No Charge" or "No Win, No Fee" legal services when they believe that a case is reasonably likely to be successful.

It is not a free service. When a successful outcome is achieved (i.e. you are awarded money or perhaps another benefit of some kind), a success fee, or contingency fee is also usually applied. Read through the agreement between you and your lawyer carefully and discuss any questions you may have with your lawyer.

Again, never choose a lawyer on the basis of a "No Win No Fee" arrangement. Choose the best lawyer for you and discuss the issue of costs with them.

New South Wales 2  legal aid litigation funding pro bono

Pro Bono Publico

This is a phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the public good." It describes professional work undertaken by lawyers voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. Unlike traditional volunteerism, pro bono service leverages the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

Justice Connect - links people and not for profit organisations with legal and other professional advisors to address issues of concern in the community.

Law Society of NSW Pro Bono Scheme - The scheme refers people needing legal assistance to law firms willing to provide legal services on a free or substantially reduced fee basis. Assistance can include legal advice, preparation of documents and, if required, representation in court.

To be eligible for legal services on a free or substantially reduced fee basis under the Law Society Pro Bono Scheme, you must have been refused a grant of Legal Aid and undergo a means and merit test. They will also only assist in certain areas of the Law.

New South Wales 3  legal aid litigation funding pro bono

Barrister Legal Assistance

The NSW Bar Association provides the Legal Assistance Referral Scheme (LARS).

Under this scheme the Association may arrange to provide suitable applicants with the services of a Barrister free of charge, for a discounted fee or with special arrangements as to payment.

"Free" First Interview

Never choose a lawyer on the basis of a "Free First Interview". There is little cost in seeing a solicitor of your choice to find out if you have a case worth pursuing or whether it is the sort of case that you should handle yourself.

If you have a serious case, the cost of the first interview is "the tip of the iceberg".