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How we help

For Free Legal Advice

 

For free legal advice, please refer to our Helpline information below.

Please note that Women's Legal Service is closed on Brisbane public holidays.

Our building is disability accessible. We can arrange interpreting services by phone and in person.

Client testimonial

“When my Legal Aid funding ran out, I found Women’s Legal Service. They were amazing. They understood my situation and gave me legal advice and support, which was invaluable.”

Client testimonial

“I contacted Legal Aid and many places seeking help. I was directed to Women’s Legal Service and was able to speak with a wonderful social worker who offered much welcomed support… The care and time she made available to a frantic, distraught mother was amazing.”

Women's Legal Service Helpline

Appointments for legal advice for women throughout Queensland
Phone: 1800 WLS WLS (1800 957 957)
Open: 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday

The Women's Legal Service Helpline operates five days a week from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm for women seeking legal advice in relation to family law and domestic violence matters.

Calls will be answered by a specially trained Helpline worker as the first point of contact. The Helpline workers will provide information and referrals to all women, and if appropriate, can arrange a free 30 minute appointment with an experienced family law solicitor.

Women who are offered an appointment will have a choice of a day or evening appointment, by phone or in person, subject to availability.

Our female solicitors can provide advice on complex family law matters include arrangements for children, separation and divorce, property settlements, child support and child protection.

Appointments will be targeted to women do not qualify for Legal Aid and are unable to afford a private lawyer. We focus our service to those most in need, and prioritise the safety of women and children including:

  • women experiencing domestic violence
  • women with disabilities
  • women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women
  • women who may be at risk of homelessness.

We are generally unable to offer legal representation, but we can provide you with helpful information to represent yourself in court.

The Helpline workers can also make referrals to our social work team if there are safety concerns. All advice at Women’s Legal Service is individual and confidential.

Women's Legal Service welcomes children to the service, but do not allow children into legal or social work appointments. We take all reasonable steps to provide a safe and inviting space for women and children. However, your children's care remains your responsibility. If you are bringing young children to your appointment, please bring a support person with you to look after them while you have your appointment. 

Generally, we do not permit men to wait in the waiting room or to attend appointments. If you have any questions, please speak to the Helpline worker.

Evening Drop-In Legal Advice

Drop-in legal advice for women with family law and domestic violence matters
Location: at our Brisbane office – 8 Ponsonby St, Annerley
Open: Monday and Wednesday evenings – doors open at 5.30pm

Due to service demands, WLS prioritises the following:

  • women experiencing domestic violence and/or who have concerns for their children's safety
  • women with disabilities
  • women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women
  • women who may be at risk of homelessness.

Advice will only be given to women who do not qualify for Legal Aid and are unable to afford a private lawyer.

Key points relating to the evening drop-in legal advice service:

  • On arrival, you will be asked to complete an intake form and then be triaged and prioritised based on your circumstances – it is therefore not ‘first come, first seen’
  • Priority is given to urgent matters and to women experiencing immediate safety concerns
  • The evening service is staffed by volunteer lawyers and support workers, so the number of women seen each evening is dependent on how many volunteers are able to come
  • You may not be seen by a lawyer if the service has reached capacity or if you arrive after 7:30pm
  • If we are unable to provide you with legal advice for any reason, a WLS staff member will provide you with appropriate information and referrals
  • If you are bringing children with you, please ensure you also bring a female support person to supervise your children while you get legal advice with the lawyer
  • Women’s Legal Service is a women only space.

Rural, Regional and Remote Legal Advice Line

Legal advice for women from rural, regional and remote areas of Queensland
Phone: 1800 457 117
Open: 9.30am-1.30pm, every Tuesday

Women’s Legal Service offers a telephone legal advice line specifically for women in rural, regional and/or remote Queensland. Callers to this line do not have to compete with metrpolitan callers and can receive on-the-spot legal advice over the phone.

Clients from these isolated areas can call through for free legal advice about domestic violence, child protection, child support and complex family law matters.

Please note this service only operates on Tuesday. Women are also welcome to contact the Helpline between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you would like to contact a community legal centre in your local area, a directory of Queensland community legal centres is available from Community Legal Centres Queensland.

Health Justice Partnership - Logan Hospital

Women’s Legal Service operates a pilot program in partnership with Logan Hospital to provide legal advice to clients who are:

  • Female patients, or female carers of children who are patients at Logan Hospital, AND
  • Affected by domestic violence, AND
  • Require legal advice about a family law, domestic violence or child protection matter.

Our Health Justice Solicitor is available to provide legal advice as well as minor assistance with legal drafting and the preparation of legal documents. Appointments are available in person or via phone at the Logan Hospital on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, or from our offices in Annerley on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Clients eligible for this service will usually be referred by Logan Hospital social work staff or health practitioners. However, clients who meet the above criteria may also self-refer by calling 0467 685 943.

This initiative funded by the Federal Government as part of the “Women’s Safety Package to Stop the Violence” recognises that women affected by domestic violence experience disproportionately higher levels of negative health outcomes.  Presentation at a hospital facility provides an ideal setting for routine inquiry and early referral to free legal services.

Clients who do not meet the above criteria may call the Helpline or the Rural, Regional and Remote Legal Advice Line.

External Services

Women’s Legal Service solicitors also attend upon the following services in a limited capacity:

  • Duty Lawyer Service at Holland Park Magistrates Court - Wednesdays from 9:30am
  • Duty Lawyer Service at Ipswich Magistrates Court - Mondays from 9am
  • Duty Lawyer Service at Caboolture Magistrates Court - Mondays from 9am
  • Family Relationship Centres (Upper Mt Gravatt and Logan)
  • Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre.

Women’s Legal Service offers free duty lawyer service for women involved in domestic violence proceedings at the Holland Park, Ipswich and Caboolture Magistrates Courts. The duty lawyer solicitors can assist with the first return date and any further 'mention' of an application for a Domestic Violence Protection Order, as well as variations of existing Domestic Violence Protection Orders. This may include providing advice on matters, representing the client in Court and/or referral to other services. However, please note that the Service operates on a case-by-case basis.

Women’s Legal Service solicitors visit the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre once a fortnight to give free legal advice. Women’s Legal Service’s prison visits are one of our longest running services, with volunteer solicitors first visiting the former Boggo Road Women’s Prison. Our dedication to this service reflects the need to ensure access to justice for one of the most powerless groups of women in Queensland.  

Women’s Legal Service provides free legal advice at local Family Relationship Centres. Our outreach solicitor services the Mt Gravatt Family Relationships Centre once a week (every Tuesday morning) and services the Logan Family Relationship Centre once a fortnight (every second Thursday morning). This service aims to provide women going through the mediation process with an opportunity to access discrete legal advice and referral back to Women’s Legal Service, or other services, where necessary. Our solicitor may provide legal advice and referral on areas of family law and matters involving domestic violence, as well as minor assistance with legal drafting and the preparing of legal documents.

Social Work Support

Women’s Legal Service social workers provide emotional and practical support to women who have been give a referral from our legal service.

Many women benefit from additional support as they work through legal issues such as domestic violence, children’s issues, separation and divorce.

Social workers will listen to your story and assist you to explore your options and choices.

Social workers can provide practical assistance to access services specific to your situation. For example, accommodation, Centrelink payments and services, counselling and support groups, financial assistance and health services. 

Women’s Legal Service social workers can provide:

  • Domestic violence safety planning
  • Information and referral
  • Assistance with applications for Legal Aid funding
  • Assistance with completing Domestic Violence Protection Order application forms

Please note that WLS Social Workers cannot give legal advice

Women’s Legal Service can offer a range of support services for women who access our legal service. Please ask about our social work support options when you contact the service.