Our Services - Barwon Community Legal Service

Our Services

Who we can help

We offer free legal help to community members living in the Geelong, Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula and Colac Otway regions.

We give priority to low income earners, clients experiencing family violence, and people who would not otherwise be able to get legal assistance.

Our team of community lawyers are experienced in a wide range of legal matters. The areas of law and the level of support that we are able to offer is determined by a combination of our funding, the legal needs of our local community as well as our staff capacity.

How we can help

Our friendly team can help you by providing:

  • Information and Referrals: Assistance with identifying your legal issue, connecting you to relevant services and referring you on to other services where we are unable to help.
  • Legal Advice: One-on-one appointment with a lawyer to discuss your matter, make you aware of your legal rights and provide options to resolve the issue.
  • Casework: On-going assistance from one of our lawyers to resolve your legal issue for eligible clients. This may include representation at Court.

Get in Touch to find out how we might be able to help you.

When contacting our administration team, it is important to remember that our administration staff cannot provide legal advice or give an opinion on what you should do to resolve your legal matter. They can, however, book you an appointment with a lawyer or provide you with information and or referrals to other services that can help you.

Contact us

What to expect when you first contact us?

When you first contact our service, our experienced administration staff will need to ask you some questions about your legal matter to help determine how we can help.

You will need to provide a summary of your legal matter as well as any details of other important information relating to your matter, such as upcoming court dates or timeframes by which you need help.

In order to complete the conflict check you will be asked to provide information about yourself and the ‘Other Party’ to your matter.

Details you need to provide include:

  • Your full name (as it appears on your birth certificate, as well as any other names you are known by)
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Full name of the Other Party (and any other names they are known by)
  • Other Party Date of Birth

Sometimes we may need to ask for further information, such as street addresses or what your relationship to the Other Party is. We will not contact the Other Party without your consent. You must provide these details as we cannot book an appointment without having completed a conflict check.

Once we have confirmed that your legal matter is something we can assist with, we are required to do a ‘conflict of interest’ check (conflict check).

We cannot assist someone if a legal conflict of interest exists. A lawyer needs to focus on the best outcomes for an individual, they cannot do this if they are representing both sides in a legal issue.

Some examples of conflicts of interest include:

  • The person involved in the matter you wish to get legal advice about (the Other Party) may have already accessed our service for help
  • Sometimes we may have already provided legal advice to another person (a Client) against you.
  • If you are a previous client and the person involved in this legal matter (the Other Party) is also a previous client of our service.

We will let you know if a conflict of interest exists, however, for confidentiality reasons, we will not disclose how the conflict of interest has occurred, what legal advice was sought or how long ago.

If we are unable to help due to a conflict of interest we will do our best to refer you to a service that can assist.

Last modified on December 2nd, 2020 at 9:35 am

The content on this site is information only and is not legal advice. If you need legal advice please contact us.