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Government & legal system

Family/civil Legal Aid: For non-criminal cases

You and your Legal Aid lawyer

Yes. It’s up to you to find a Legal Aid lawyer to represent you for your family or civil case. You can choose a lawyer based on your own knowledge or experience or on other people’s recommendations, or you may be able to get a list of lawyers from your local Community Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau or the Law Society.

Note: You should ask the lawyer you approach whether they do Legal Aid work for your specific type of legal problem.

If you’re unhappy with the Legal Aid lawyer that’s been assigned to you, discuss your concerns with the lawyer first.

If that doesn’t sort things out, contact Legal Aid Services at the Ministry of Justice. In rare cases, a new lawyer may be assigned to you if there is a good reason for this.

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Legal Aid and other legal help

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can give you free initial legal advice, help you apply for Legal Aid and find a Legal Aid lawyer, and may be able to provide ongoing legal help, depending on your situation.

Find a family lawyer


This New Zealand Law Society website will help you find a family lawyer in your local area.

Find a Legal Aid lawyer


This is an online database of Legal Aid lawyers.

Public Defence Service


This website provides information about the Public Defence Service. They can represent defendants in criminal cases where Legal Aid has been granted.

Ministry of Justice


Information about Legal Aid and other legal assistance schemes. Legal Aid forms are also available online.

Applying for Legal Aid


This page has the Legal Aid forms in PDR versions that you can download and email to Legal Aid.

Phone: 0800 253 425

Legal Aid Tribunal


Information about the Legal Aid Tribunal including what types of decisions that can be reviewed, how to apply and what type of information you need to provide.

Also available as a book

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