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Free legal help

In Trouble
Need a Lawyer?

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.

What Does Community Law Do?

Not sure if Community Law is the right service for you? Have a look at what we do, who we are and how we can help

Contact your local Community Law Centre

“We're here to
help you, and
to take away the
stress of the law"

Kahu, community lawyer
The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

How does it work?

Woman sitting

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.

Find out more

Am I eligible?

Man looking out window

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.

Find out more

Who are our lawyers?

Woman smiling

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.

Find out more

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