I do not have an email address or cannot access the online form. How can I apply?

 

Recommended browsers for our online application form are Chrome or Firefox. the minimum browser and system requirements to view our website and use the online application form is Windows 10 with Microsoft Edge.

Please note that you will need an email address to submit an online application. If you do not have an email address or cannot access our online form we recommend that you approach your Parliamentary Representative or a community service provider so that they can make a warm referral to us on your behalf using our online Refer a Matter form.

 

Why is there a means test and how does it work?

Pro bono resources are limited and we have to prioritise the most disadvantaged people. Some people who apply for our help have no income at all when they first come to us. Others are on government benefits or low incomes.

We require detailed information about your financial situation so that we can assess whether you meet our means test. We will take into account how many dependents you support and whether your matter is of public interest in making our means assessment.

If Law Access or a pro bono lawyer find that you have misrepresented your means you will be disqualified from receiving pro bono assistance.

Does Law Access provide legal advice and representation?

Law Access does not offer any legal advice or information directly. We do not act as your lawyer when we receive applications for pro bono referral.

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.

We will only try to refer the most vulnerable family law applicants. Other applicants will be rejected as not meeting our referral guidelines (Please read our information sheet for family law applicants before submitting an application.)

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, post or  through our website.

Does a list of pro bono lawyers exist?

No. Applications for pro bono assistance need to come through Law Access. We then ask members of the legal profession whether they are able to provide assistance to a successful applicant on a pro bono basis. We are the ones who match applicants to pro bono lawyers.

You should not approach lawyers directly seeking pro bono assistance as this creates confusion and wastes scarce pro bono lawyer time and resources.

Do you refer Family Law and Protection and Care matters?

Yes. Community services such as the Family Inclusion Network of Western Australia Inc and legal assistance providers such as community legal centres, legal aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia assist family members by making warm referrals to Law Access where appropriate.

For all other family law applicants, please read our information sheet for family law applicants before submitting an application.

I am a small business owner – can I apply to Law Access?

Only through our warm referral process.  If you are a small business without the means to pay a private lawyer we recommend that you try getting legal advice from the John Curtin Law Clinic that provides small business disputes advice. They assist small businesses based in Western Australia with legal issues involving lease agreements, franchise agreements, contracts, and consumer law matters. Some of the things they can assist with include: identifying legal options; carrying out legal research; and preparing court documents. Please note that they do not provide legal representation. If the John Curtin Law Clinic is unable to assist, they may decide to warm refer your matter to Law Access using our warm referral form.

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 or approve applications for pro bono referral are at the complete discretion of Law Access. All decisions 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. We do 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 while we will do our best to locate a lawyer or law firm to take on your matter, 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.

What if Law Access cannot help you?

If your matter is ineligible for referral or we cannot find a lawyer to help you, we will write to you explaining why we were unable to refer your matter. If we can, we will also provide you with practical information regarding your options and suggest other agencies you could contact for assistance.

Can I provide feedback about the Law Access service?

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

The Chief Executive Officer, Law Access

Email: lawaccess@lawaccess.org.au

Post: PO Box Z5345, Perth WA 6831