About legal assistance
Not a substitute for adequate legal aid funding
The Bar Association's legal assistance schemes operate at the coalface, offering legal services to people in need of help. These schemes embody and reflect the strongly held view of the Bar that a person's rights and access to justice should not be diminished because they have little or no money.
New South Wales has a 'one stop shop' providing access to legal services and assistance. Learn More >>
Legal Assistance Referral Scheme (LARS)
LARS aims to provide legal assistance for free or at reduced rates to persons who would not otherwise be able to obtain legal assistance without suffering severe financial hardship. Learn more about LARS or download an application form
Duty Barrister Scheme
The Duty Barrister Scheme has been operating at the Local Court Downing Centre Sydney since 1994. On a daily basis, two barristers volunteer their services to assist members of the public who have court appearances on that day. The Duty Barrister Room is located on level 5 in front of the lifts. If you have an appearance in court and need assistance on the day it is wise to arrive at the Duty Barrister Room no later than 9.30am. Barristers who wish to volunteer to be a duty barrister should complete the registration form. For further information regarding the scheme, contact the Manager of the Legal Assistance Referral Scheme on ph:(02) 9232 4055.
A number of courts provide court-appointed legal assistance schemes, which operate on the basis that referrals are made BY THE COURT if to do so is in the interests of the administration of justice. The NSW Bar Association is not involved in these referrals but provides to these courts a list of barristers who have offered to assist.
The Federal Court Rules set out the procedures governing court appointed referrals for legal assistance. The central aspects of the scheme are embodied in Order 80 of the Federal Court Rules.
Federal Magistrates Court
Part 12 of the Federal Magistrates Court Rules establishes a scheme to facilitate the provision of legal assistance to parties who are otherwise unable to obtain assistance where the Court determines it is in the best interests of the administration of justice to do so.
Supreme Court of New South Wales
The Supreme Court of New South Wales operates a scheme to facilitate the provision of legal assistance in appropriate cases where the court determines it is in the administration of justice to do so. The central aspects of the scheme are embodied in Part 7, Division 9 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.
District Court of New South Wales
The District Court of New South Wales operates a scheme to facilitate the provision of legal assistance in appropriate cases where the court determines it is the administration of justice to do so. The central aspects of the scheme are embodied in Part 7, Division 9 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.