Media Release - Volunteer service helps people with legal issues
30 August 2016
With demand for legal assistance continuing to outgrow supply, the Law Society wants to remind the community of its pro bono legal advisory service.
The service lets anyone book a 20-minute appointment with an experienced lawyer for the nominal administrative fee of $35 or $25 for concession card holders.
“Our service has been under-utilised because not many people know about it,” Law Society CEO Stephen Hodder said.
“We have highly skilled lawyers available to provide voluntarily legal assistance every Monday and Wednesday evening, but they often don’t get called upon due to lack of appointments.”
Sometimes a 20-minute appointment is all it takes to lead someone in the right direction, and can help people with legal concerns avoid an unnecessarily costly and lengthy legal process. It could just be a matter of a lawyer clarifying your legal rights, or suggesting what course of action may have the best chance of achieving the desired outcome.
The types of issues that the service can provide assistance with includes personal injury, traffic infringements, criminal and family law matters, wills and estates, neighbourhood disputes, debt recovery, and tenancy issues, to name a few.
“Severe cuts to legal aid at the State and Federal level have increased the population of people who cannot access legal assistance, which is a fundamental right of all people,” Mr Hodder said. “The Law Society’s legal advisory service is one small way we can help people enforce their legal rights.”
The Law Society service maintains a register of qualified legal practitioners who volunteer their time to provide assistance. The Society also runs a legal referral service, which connects members of the public with lawyers who specialise in particular areas.
The Legal Advisory service runs from 5.30pm to 6.50pm every Monday and Wednesday. To enquire about the service or make an appointment, call (08) 8229 0200.
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