Court procedure can be complex. Although it is not necessary for you to be represented by a lawyer, if you are commencing or otherwise involved in a case in the Supreme Court it is recommended that you obtain legal assistance.
You can, at any time, change your mind and appoint a lawyer to represent you. If you do, you or your lawyer must file a notice of that appointment with the Court and give a copy to each other party which has been stamped by the Registry, or filed online.
If you are unsure about where to obtain legal assistance, or are unable to pay, you may be able to obtain some help through the organisations listed below.
Law Society of NSW
Law Society of New South Wales has a Solicitor Referral Service if you want to engage a solicitor to act on a normal fees basis. The Law Society can provide names of accredited specialists in particular areas of law. The Law Society also operates a Pro Bono Scheme for people who cannot afford a solicitor and are refused a grant of Legal Aid. Further information about both services is available from the
Finding a solicitor page on the Law Society's website.
NSW Bar Association
NSW Bar Association can help you to find a barrister who practices in a particular area of law and can be engaged on a normal fees basis. The NSW Bar Association also has a
Legal Assistance Referral Scheme, which aims to provide legal assistance for free or at reduced rates to people who would otherwise not be able to obtain legal assistance without suffering severe financial hardship (the Bar Association requires an application form to be completed so that it can assess whether assistance should be granted).
LawAccess NSW is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referral and, in priority cases, advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW. LawAccess NSW is a great starting point to search for information about the law and legal issues.
LawAccess is a joint initiative of the Department of Justice (NSW), Legal Aid NSW, Law Society of NSW and NSW Bar Association.
LawAssist website features step by step guides, tips and precedent forms relevant to the most common legal issues.
Legal Aid Commission of NSW
Legal Aid Commission of NSW offers grants of legal aid; you may have to meet requirements in order to qualify for a grant of legal aid.
Your nearest public library
All NSW public libraries provide access to a "Find Legal Answers Toolkit" that comprises easy to read and practical publications about the law and legal problems. To find out more about this service and search for your nearest public library,
visit the Find Legal Answers website.
Community Legal Centres
Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are independent community organisations providing equitable and accessible legal services. CLCs work for the public interest, particularly for disadvantaged and marginalised people and communities. To locate your nearest CLC, and access a directory of legal services,
visit the CLC website.
The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre
The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre is a free legal service for homeless and disadvantaged people below the age of 25. It is a joint project run by Mission Australia, the Salvation Army and the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.