Frequently asked questions
Legal aid applications
You can apply for legal aid through either a private lawyer or through the Legal Aid Commission. To apply through the Legal Aid Commission, simply come into one of our clinic advice sessions in Burnie, Devonport, Launceston or Hobart. You don't need an appointment. Find out the times and days in your area here - clinic advice information. To apply through a private lawyer, make an appointment with a lawyer of your choice.
Do I have to apply through a lawyer working for the Legal Aid Commission or can I go to a private lawyer?
You can apply for legal aid through a private lawyer. Contact our telephone advice service and they will be able to give you details of a lawyer in your area.
Yes. Make an appointment with your lawyer and they will be able to apply for a grant of legal aid on your behalf.
We have two tests to determine if you are eligible for legal aid. First, we look at your income and assets and those of your partner. Second, your problem must be of a matter type where we grant legal aid. If you have a health care card or pension card, you may satisfy our income and assets test. To find out more information contact our telephone advice service or come into one of our clinic advice sessions and talk to a lawyer.
The types of matters where legal aid may be granted are: Family law where there is a dispute concerning children, Criminal law where you are at risk of imprisonment, Family Violence if you are a victim and Mental Health matters.
Just because the other party has received legal aid doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to make an application. We will consider each individual’s income and assets. However, we can’t represent both parties. What this means is that, if the other party is represented by the Legal Aid Commission, or has recently received some advice or assistance through one of our clinic advice sessions, you should apply through a private lawyer. The same guidelines will apply. This avoids a conflict of interest.
No. Each party involved in a dispute must be represented by a different lawyer. This avoids a conflict of interest.
If you are under 18, then you won’t have to pay anything. If you are over 18, you will have to pay at least $60. The amount you have to pay depends on your income and assets. Your lawyer will be able to advise you of the amount. If you have difficulty paying, you can arrange to have instalments deducted from your Centrelink benefit.
If the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania refuses your application for a grant of legal aid you might be able to ask for the decision to be reviewed. For further information see Reviewing refusals of legal aid.
If you’ve been granted legal aid and you want to change lawyers, then you must write to the Director of Legal Aid and request approval. You need to set out the reasons for your request in this letter. Approvals are not granted automatically and must be justified by the circumstances.
How we can help
No. For a referral to a private lawyer contact our telephone advice line on 1300 366 611.For more information see the factsheet Wills - General Principles.
You can see one of our lawyers for free legal advice at our clinic advice sessions. The lawyer can discuss with you what options are available. If the matter is urgent, either call our telephone advice service or ask for the Legal Aid Duty Lawyer at Court. It's always best to get some advice before you have to go to Court.
Under the Safe at Home Family Violence program the Legal Aid Commission can provide victims of family violence with legal advice, assistance and representation. This service is offered state-wide. Call 1300 366 611 to arrange an appointment with the Safe at Home lawyer.
The Legal Aid Commission has a dedicated Consumer Credit Lawyer who is able to provide legal advice in relation to credit and debt difficulties. Contact 1300 366 611 to arrange assistance.
Everyone, regardless of personal circumstances is able to come into our free clinic advice sessions. The lawyer you speak to can tell you if you are eligible for legal aid. If you aren’t eligible for legal aid, the lawyer can give you some advice, information or contact details of other service providers that may be able to assist you.
The Legal Aid Commission can provide free state-wide education sessions on all areas of the law and tailor them to meet the needs of your group. Please contact us on 1300 366 611 to arrange a booking.
You don't need an appointment to come into one of our clinic advice sessions. You just need to come on the right day at the right time.
You will speak directly to a fully qualified lawyer employed by the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania.
The Legal Aid Commission provides a Duty Lawyer in both the Criminal Courts and the Family Court. The Criminal Duty Lawyer may be able to help you with information about Court procedures, bail applications, pleas and penalties. If you have been arrested you can ask for the Duty Lawyer to appear on your behalf in relation to bail applications. The Family Duty Lawyer may be able to help you with legal advice and information about your case, explain procedures and processes of the court and may be able to appear for you as a 'once only'. If time permits it is always best to contact our telephone advice service.
These details are provided in the What we Do section.
Contact our telephone advice service and they will be able to provide you with details of your nearest Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations or Notary Public.