Community Law has some of the best legal professionals in the country, and we’re free.
Legal problems can be serious and frightening, and for many people lawyers are completely unaffordable. But everyone has the right to high-quality legal help – that’s where Community Law comes in.
Whether you’re struggling to keep or share your kids, finding it hard to handle WINZ, fines or debt, facing criminal charges, or dealing with a different kind of legal problem, often the first and most important step is to ask for help.
After contacting your local Community Law Centre, you’ll speak with a lawyer who is right for you and your legal issue.
Each Community Law Centre runs differently – some give legal advice over the phone, some run drop-in legal clinics, and some ask you to make an appointment in advance.
Your lawyer or caseworker will help map out with you the best way forward. Depending on your situation, we may be able to help you with more intensive, ongoing advocacy.
We give free one-on-one legal help to people who don’t have much money – for example, if you’re on a benefit or have a low income.
We help people with particular kinds of serious legal problems – for example, if you have a crisis housing issue or if there are children or other vulnerable people at risk.
We also give legal help to people facing particular challenges, such as if you have trouble reading, or if you have a disability or mobility issues, or if you’re living with a mental illness.
Depending on your local Community Law Centre, you’ll see a lawyer who is experienced in a particular area (such as employment or criminal law), or a lawyer you may feel more comfortable with (for example, a Māori lawyer or a woman lawyer).
Lawyers who work in and volunteer for Community Law have a lot of experience and a strong sense of social justice. They’re used to all kinds of legal issues. They understand how important it is to listen first and then help you uphold your rights and reach an appropriate solution.
Check out Frequently Asked Questions and Answers related to COVID-19 on our website here
Most Community Law Centres have returned to their normal face-to-face free legal services during Level 1. Find the contact details of your nearest Community Law Centre here
You will also find out useful information on our Community Law Manual Facebook page.