Legal assistance refers to a range of services that we provide. These include:
- Legal information (this does not have to come from a lawyer as it is information – you might also get legal information from one of our community legal education sessions or from a pamphlet)
- Referral to other services (this may be if we do not have the expertise in the area of law you are having a problem with, or because we may have another reason not to represent you – see under ‘Are you eligible?’ below.
- Legal advice (this must come from a lawyer – a client service officer or administrative staff cannot and will not give legal advice)
- Legal representation (this will include case work and advocacy, in courts or tribunals).
In house legal practice
TACLS employs 7 lawyers (including our State Manager) and does as much legal work ‘in house’ as possible. Sometimes because of commitments we may not be able to be everywhere at once or we may need to specific expertise of another lawyer. In this case, we will ‘brief’ another lawyer to represent you, usually in court. If this is the case, you still remain a client of TACLS.
We do not give ‘grants of legal aid’ to private lawyers.
Legal matter type
TACLS is only allowed to act in certain areas of law. These are mainly:
We act in the following main areas of law:
- Criminal law
- State and Commonwealth legislation
- Magistrates and Supreme Court
- Contested matters, bails, pleas of guilt and appeals
- Family law
- State Child Protection legislation where the Department of Health and Human Services is involved
- State family violence laws
- Commonwealth family law matters (but not property settlements)
- Civil law
- Victims of crime
- Anti discrimination
- Police Complaints
- Other matters where we believe it appropriate to act
Also, TACLS can only represent individual people – we cannot represent community organisations or businesses.
TACLS understands that sometimes, the people most vulnerable, the people who need access to legal assistance, are the very people who face the most difficulties asking for help. This means we need to be smart in how we make sure everyone can access services.
TACLS is working to provide legal assistance to people away from a traditional legal setting by:
- attending at Risdon Prison to ensure that those in custody (either on remand or serving sentence) will have access to legal advice and casework
- working with Aboriginal community organisations for regular visiting sessions to encourage people to seek legal information and advice