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A lawyer is a person with legal training. They may choose to work in different areas of law such as criminal, family or civil law. In Australia, lawyers are also called solicitors or barristers.
It is important to speak to a lawyer if you have a legal problem because they can:
The family law courts and state magistrates courts assist with family law disputes.
You should get legal advice if you are not sure which court to use.
In most cases you will need to attend a family dispute resolution conference and try to resolve your family law problem before going to court. If you do not reach an agreement, you may be given a certificate you can use to show the court you attended the conference. You should get legal advice about this.
This court is the final appeal court about Australian laws.
A tribunal is an independent body to hear and decide disputes. They can review decisions made by some government departments. There are different tribunals that can help you, for example:
The person who makes decisions in these tribunals is called a "member". Time limits may apply. You should get legal advice about this.
If you need to speak with the police urgently and you don't have a friend or relative who can help you, you can:
Legal Aid Queensland is a government agency that provides free legal help to people who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. We can help you with:
You can phone Legal Aid Queensland for legal advice and information. This is a free service that will provide you with legal information and advice over the phone or face-to-face.
To apply for representation in a legal matter, you need to complete an application form. Application forms are available from our offices throughout Queensland or from solicitors who do work for Legal Aid Queensland.
We can provide legal advice about:
Legal Aid Queensland has specialist lawyers who can assist you with legal problems, including the Violence Prevention and Women's Advocacy team and our family lawyers. We can also refer you to community legal centres or other community services that might be able to help.
For more information, phone our Client Information Service on 1300 65 11 88 (for the cost of a local call from a landline in Australia). If English is your second language, you can contact us through the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50. You can also visit our website www.legalaid.qld.gov.au