Individuals and families with legal needs are often in situations that are difficult and

stressful. In addition to the emotional toll legal issues can create, people are also faced with the economic challenge of paying for competent professional legal advice. However, there are options available to the average consumer to assist them in keeping the cost of legal services to a minimum.

Initially, consumers can look for law firms that offer a free one-hour consultation. This time frame allows for the client to ask pertinent questions about the viability of their case, as well as finding out what the initial retainer fee will be and the standard hourly rate. It might also be possible to determine the amount of time that will be necessary to handle the case, thereby giving clients an estimate of the overall cost of litigation.

Consumers should also contact their local bar association. Often times this organization

 is an excellent referral source for finding lawyers who do a significant amount of pro bono work. Also, the bar association might have compiled a list of solicitors that offer their clients a sliding fee scale.  As such, the client might 

find that a local law firm will assess their legal fees based upon their income.

One organization that Australians in NSW can look to for additional information about low cost legal services is The Australian Pro Bono Center.  In addition, NSW offers an organization called Justice Connect. This organization also offers low cost legal services to those in need. Finally, there is a specialized organization in place to assist the homeless; Homeless Persons’ Legal Service which can be found at 

https://www.piac.asn.au/2010/07/13/introduction-protecting-human-rights/.  

In addition to the organizations mentioned above there is also 

Legal Aid Services of NSW. The process for applying for Legal Aid services can be found at http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/get-legal-help/applying-for-legal-aid. At this web address there are step by step instructions as to how to complete the Legal Aid form. In addition, there is an App available for download. The video can be viewed at http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/get-legal-help/legal-aid-nsw-app.

Legal Aid offers advice and representation for all areas of law including criminal law, family law and civil law. However, other areas of the law are excluded from their services, including, but not limited to business law, commercial investments, taxation, workers’ compensation and employment matters, to name a few.  If you are in need of legal advice in any of these areas, it would be best to try another avenue. There is also a free hotline available to consumers for gathering initial information and making an appointment (1300 888 529). With legal aid the advice is free. There is no economic need that must be present for consumers to partake in the services provided. The only exception is if you receive a grant for legal aid, in which case you may owe a portion of the cost of your services.

It is important for all persons facing legal issues to be well informed and competently represented. Financial and economic issues should not make it impossible for persons in need of legal assistance to receive the same. Hence, the use of these available resources can significantly reduce the cost of legal services, and in some cases, eliminate the fees completely.

For further information or inquiries, please contact the offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. We are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs, with specialists in challenging a will to child custody lawyers. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780