Need legal help? Ask Legal Aid Queensland (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people)

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    Disclaimer: This content is for general purposes only and not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, please contact us or speak to a lawyer. View our full disclaimer.

    Legal Aid Queensland gives legal help to financially disadvantaged people. We have a range of specialist services which can help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    How can Legal Aid Queensland help me?

    You can get free legal information to help you work out your legal problem by calling the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Information Line on 1300 650 143 or visiting one of our 14 offices. The first person you talk to will be a client information officer (this person is not a lawyer). They will:

    • listen to your problem and give you information about the law
    • tell you about the services we offer
    • refer you to someone either at Legal Aid Queensland or in another organisation who can help.

    If your problem is more serious and you need to talk with a lawyer, the client information officer will:

    • put your call through to a lawyer, or
    • make a time when a lawyer will call you back, or
    • tell you when you can go into your closest Legal Aid Queensland office to speak with a lawyer.

    Who can get help?

    Legal Aid Queensland helps people who have a legal problem but can't afford to pay for a lawyer. We help the most disadvantaged people in our community.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can access our legal information and advice services for free, without needing to meet our advice financial eligibility test. If you need a lawyer to represent you, you will need to apply for legal aid.

    It is important to speak to a lawyer if you have a legal problem because they can:

    • give you legal advice
    • explain your rights
    • help you in court or in a tribunal
    • talk to police or other people involved in your legal problem on your behalf.

    Legal Aid Queensland has specialist lawyers who can help you with legal problems. We can also refer you for help to community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, family violence prevention legal services, or other community services.

    Where are you located?

    Legal Aid Queensland has 14 offices across the state, from Southport to Cairns.

    We also provide outreach services face-to-face and through videoconferencing in regional and remote communities. See our website or call our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Information Line on 1300 650 143 for more information.

    What legal problems can you help me with?

    We provide legal help for criminal, family and civil law problems. Some problems we can help with include:

    • You've separated or divorced and need help working out where the children will live, how to divide your assets or child support issues.
    • You've experienced violence in your relationships.
    • You or your child need help with a child protection matter.
    • You've been accused of breaking the law or been charged with a crime.
    • You've been the victim of a consumer rip-off, been added to a credit blacklist, harrassed by debt collectors or you're having trouble paying loans.
    • You've been unfairly discriminated against because of your race, age, gender identity, sexuality or family responsibilities.

    We can't help you with:

    • commercial transactions or issues with real estate
    • personal injury
    • will making/preparing powers of attorney
    • taxation and superannuation
    • planning and environmental law
    • local government matters
    • matters where you're representing a company, business, club or association.

    Can I get a lawyer to represent me in court?

    Legal Aid Queensland may be able to provide a lawyer to represent you. This service is means and merit tested-we will look at what you earn, what you own and if your case has a good chance of success to decide if you are eligible for legal aid. We use the means and merit test to make sure we spend our limited funding on the most needy cases.

    If you rely solely on Centrelink payments for your income, you will usually pass the income section of our means test. You will still need to be assessed under the assets section of the means test and meet the merit test. Young people aged 17 years and under don't have to meet the means test to be eligible for aid, but may have to meet other guidelines.

    How do I apply for legal aid?

    To apply for legal aid you'll need to fill out an application form and give us some financial information.

    Contact us for more information about how to apply for aid.

    Is your help confidential?

    Yes. Our services are confidential and we are committed to protecting our clients' privacy. We will not provide your personal information or details about your legal problem to anyone, unless we are legally required to.

    Do you need extra help accessing our services?

    If you would like this factsheet explained in your language, please phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 to speak to an interpreter. Ask them to connect you to Legal Aid Queensland. If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us using the National Relay Service. To make a call, go to the National Relay Service Website and ask for 1800 998 980 (Legal Aid Queensland's legal information line). These are free services.

    How do I provide feedback or make a complaint?

    Your feedback-complaints, compliments and suggestions-is welcome and we take it seriously.

    To make a comment about the service you received from Legal Aid Queensland, you can complete our client feedback form. The form is available from your local Legal Aid office and our website.

    You can also give us feedback by writing to us at GPO Box 2449, Brisbane, Qld, 4001, or calling our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Information Line on 1300 650 143.

    Last updated 11 April 2024