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Who are our lawyers?

Our staff lawyers

Some of our lawyers have been working in Community Law for years, and know benefit rights law, Māori land law or refugee law, for example, better than anyone else in the country.

Other staff lawyers have come from law firms, or the courts, or from government agencies. They now work in Community Law because it’s a chance to make a real difference in the lives of real people.

The expertise and professionalism of our lawyers means that while our services are free, they’re of equal or better quality than legal help you need to pay for.

Our volunteer lawyers

Community Law also benefits from the help of over 1,200 volunteer lawyers, who work inside the Community Law legal structure to provide free legal help in every corner of the motu.

Our volunteer lawyers come from small and large law firms. They are sole practitioners, law firm partners and staff, and other lawyers. They all hold practising certificates and the legal help they provide is quality assured through Community Law’s strong legal supervision standards.

You can feel confident that any lawyer volunteering for Community Law supports our aim, which is to empower you to find a legal solution that is appropriate and comfortable.

What service should I expect from my Community Law Centre lawyer?

Your lawyer must:

  • Give you clear information and advice
  • Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination
  • Protect your privacy
  • Act competently and do the work on time
  • Follow your instructions
  • Protect and promote your interests
  • Discuss your objectives with you and how you can best achieve them
  • Charge you a fair fee and let you know how and when you will have to pay (note that Community Law Centre legal advice is free of charge)
  • Tell you about the work to be done, who will do it and how they will do it
  • Keep you informed about the work being done and tell you when it is finished
  • Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint quickly and fairly

How can I complain about a lawyer from a Community Law Centre?

Every Community Law Centre has a complaints procedure – ask to see it.

Whether you make your complaint in person or in writing, it should be dealt with quickly and fairly.

If you’re unhappy with the way the centre handles your complaint, you can contact the Lawyers Complaints Service, run by the New Zealand Law Society.

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