Frequently Asked Questions

Does Law Access provide legal advice and representation?

Law Access does not offer any legal advice or information directly, nor do we act as your lawyer when we receive applications for pro bono referral. However, Law Access does advise unsuccessful applicants why their matter cannot be referred.

How long does the process take?

The time taken to match a case with a referral depends on the complexity of the case, the amount of time it takes to assess the matter, and the amount of time it may take to place the matter with the appropriately matched practitioner. We cannot guarantee that a matter, even if assessed as meritorious, can be placed at all.

It is important that you continue to meet all court commitments or commence any necessary legal action within statutory time limits, even if you have submitted an application to Law Access.

Please be aware that it is very difficult to place family law matters. It may take a long time and we may not be able to place your matter at all.

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee. Law Access provides this service free of charge to the community.

Do you provide a walk-in service?

No walk-in service is available. All contact to Law Access must be made by telephone, email or post.

Does a list of pro bono lawyers exist?

No. Applications for pro bono assistance need to come through Law Access. Law Access then asks members of the legal profession whether they are able to render assistance to a successful applicant on a pro bono basis.

Do you refer family law matters?

Please be aware that it is very difficult to place family law matters as there is a shortage of family lawyers who are able to take referrals from us. It may take a long time and we may not be able to place your matter at all. We prioritise applicants with exceptional circumstances.

Who undertakes the assessment of applications?

The Law Access Principal Lawyer conducts the assessments.

Can decisions by Law Access be reviewed?

No. All decisions to consider and refuse/approve applications for pro bono referral are at the complete discretion of Law Access, and are final.

Are all successfully approved matters referred to a pro bono lawyer?

If your application is assessed as suitable for pro bono referral, Law Access will attempt to refer the matter to legal practitioners who may be willing to accept the legal matter on a pro bono basis. Law Access does not have any power to compel a legal practitioner or law firm to assist with matters on a pro bono basis. The decision to undertake pro bono work is completely voluntary and at the discretion of the practitioner or firm.

Please note that whilst Law Access will do its best to locate a legal practitioner or law firm to take the matter on, there is no guarantee that the matter will be taken up on a pro bono basis.

It is important that you continue to meet all court commitments or commence any necessary legal action within statutory time limits, even if you have submitted an application to Law Access.

Can I provide feedback about the Law Access service?

Yes, Law Access welcomes your feedback. Please address your feedback to:

The Manager, Law Access
Email: lawaccess@lawaccess.net.au
Post:
M249, The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009

Eligibility Criteria

What is the eligibility criteria?

In order to be eligible for assistance, you must demonstrate that you meet all of the following:

  • the matter is a Considered Matter Type
  • all appropriate avenues for assistance have been exhausted, for example, the Legal Aid Commission has refused assistance
  • the scope of the work required is beyond the capacity of a Community Legal Centre and you are unable to afford the services of a solicitor in private practice
  • the matter for which assistance is sought has sufficient legal merit and
  • you meet our means test

What are the Excluded Matter Types?

Unfortunately, there are some matter types which we do not accept applications for. These include:

  • Disputes going through internal complaints mechanisms
  • Dividing fences disputes
  • Intractable disputes between neighbours
  • Matters which are customarily or can adequately be dealt with by the applicant without legal representation or assistance
  • Matters which are not/cannot be brought in a Western Australian court
  • Matters which have been refused by Legal Aid WA on the basis of merit
  • Minor criminal offences
  • Personal injury and negligence
  • Protection and care matters
  • Restraining orders
  • Native title
  • Tenancy
  • Uncontested deceased estates
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Welfare rights and social security (except if at Administrative Appeals Tribunal level)
  • Any other matter as deemed appropriate by Law Access Ltd, at any time

What are the Considered Matter Types

The following legal matters may be eligible for pro bono referral through the Law Access Pro Bono Referral Scheme:

  • Administrative appeals and tribunals
  • Animal welfare
  • Banking and finance
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Breach of contract
  • Commercial law
  • Contested deceased estates
  • Coronial matters
  • Corporate law
  • Criminal injuries compensation
  • Employment law
  • Environmental law
  • Family law – Please be aware that it is very difficult to place family law matters. It may take a long time and we may not be able to place your matter at all.
  • Human rights and equal opportunity
  • Immigration law
  • Indictable criminal offences
  • Indigenous corporations
  • Intellectual property
  • Loans, mortgage agreements
  • Not-for-profit associations and clubs
  • Property and conveyancing
  • Trade practices
  • Any other matter as deemed appropriate by Law Access Ltd, at any time

For more information on where to find legal assistance and information for unrepresented litigants please Community Legal Resources