What we do
Tasmania Legal Aid provides a range of quality legal services across Tasmania through four offices. Our focus is on economically and socially disadvantaged Tasmanians. We provide preventative services such as information about the law through our website and through community legal education sessions. We deliver early intervention services through our telephone advice line, face-to-face consultations, duty lawyer services, minor assistance, and mediation services. We also provide legal representation in court delivered through grants of aid to private lawyers and to in-house lawyers.
Everyone can receive free advice from our telephone advice service or our clinic advice sessions where you can speak face-to-face with a lawyer. If you are appearing in the Magistrates Court, our Duty Lawyer may be able to provide information about court procedure, bail applications, pleas and penalties. If you are a self-represented litigant in the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court, you will be able to get procedural advice at the special sessions we run in conjunction with those Courts.
RepresentationWe have a Duty Lawyer located at the Magistrates Court who may be able to help you, if you require genuine assistance. The Duty Lawyer may be able to provide you with free representation if you have been arrested and wish to apply for bail or if you would be eligible for legal aid but have not yet applied. We are able to provide representation in other criminal matters and family law matters to people who have applied for, and been granted, legal aid.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) conferences
We offer FDR conferences in family law matters to people who might not have otherwise been able to obtain our representation or assistance. The FDR conferences aim to settle a dispute in its early stages, reducing the need to go through the Family Court, which can be a traumatic process for all parties involved. Agreements reached in an FDR conference are drafted as consent orders and lodged with the Family Court to be formalised. The agreement then has the same effect as if the Family Court had made the orders. The FDR conferences benefit the parties, let us use our resources more efficiently and reduce the pressure on the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court.
Community legal education and information
Our lawyers run seminars on a variety of legal topics to schools, community groups or organisations throughout Tasmania. These seminars are free of charge and can be tailored to suit the needs of your particular group. For more information on this service, contact our telephone advice service.