The Children's Legal Service (CLS) of Legal Aid NSW advises and represents children and young people under 18 involved in criminal cases and Apprehended Violence Order applications in the Children's Courts. Our aim is to ensure that children and young people have access to professional, face-to-face or telephone based legal advice at any stage of their legal proceedings.
If you're under 18 and need advice about a criminal law problem, or think you might be in trouble with the law, we can help.
Our telephone hotline provides legal advice and information to young people under 18, and operates 9am to midnight weekdays, with a 24-hour service from Friday 9am to Sunday midnight and also on public holidays.
More details about the Hotline and the Young Offenders Act.
The Children's Legal Service has duty lawyers at the following courts:
For matters in the Local Court in NSW, see the duty lawyer at the court.
Our lawyers visit juvenile justice centres and give free advice and assistance to young people in custody. We can also help with bail applications and appeals.
We represent children and young people under 18 who have been charged with a criminal offence in the Children's Court. We also represent young people when they are a defendant in Apprehended Domestic Violence proceedings, even where there are no associated charges. When a young person is going to court, they should make sure to ask to see the duty solicitor before going into the court room.
Lawyers at a number of regional offices also represent children and young people in Children's Courts at various locations throughout the state. These include: Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore, Orange, Tamworth, Wagga, Albury, Port Macquarie and other courts serviced by those offices.
At other Children's Courts in New South Wales, Legal Aid NSW pays private lawyers to advise and represent children and young people.