Who Can We Help at the Gippsland Community Legal Service?
Gippsland Community Legal Service can help people who live, work or study in Gippsland with their legal issues.
The assistance we can provide will depend on the type of legal issue that you have. Some areas of law are not within our practice areas, or are extremely complex and require specialist expertise, such as commercial law. Even if we aren’t able to help directly or your problem doesn’t fall within our practice areas, we may still be able to provide you with a referral to a lawyer or service that can.
If you are unsure whether we can assist with your problem, or you would like further information, please call us on 1800 004 402 or fill out the ‘Request an Appointment’ form.
Request an Appointment for Yourself
How it works
Refer Someone Else for an Appointment
How it works
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
Speaking to a lawyer can be daunting, but our team is here to make it as simple as possible.
After you request an appointment, we will contact you to discuss your issue further.
At your first appointment we’ll ask some questions to help us get to know you and your legal issue. We recommend setting aside about 30-60 minutes for your first appointment.
You can tell us if you need us to contact you at another time, or if there is a particular time of the day that is best for you.
In many cases we can give you the advice that you need at the first appointment, but we may need to do extra work on your legal issue or open a casework file for more complex issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take before I can speak to someone after I submit the ‘Request an Appointment’ form?
We will aim to contact you as soon as possible after your request is submitted, but the timeframe will vary depending on how many requests for advice we have received and how complex the requests in the queue are. Usually we can contact you within 24-48 hours of your request.
We prioritise requests for advice involving family violence. If your request involves family violence, we will respond to your request for advice as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours if the request is made during business hours.
Please call the Police on 000 if you fear for your immediate safety or for the immediate safety of those around you.
How long will it take when I’m speaking to a lawyer on the phone?
How long it takes for a lawyer to give you advice will depend on the legal problem. Some legal problems are relatively easy to solve, whilst others are more complex.
Often we can give you the advice that you need in our first appointment over the phone.
We recommend speaking to our lawyers when you can set aside about 30-60 minutes to talk. If we can’t cover everything in the initial appointment, we may conduct the advice over a number of sessions.
Can I have someone else with me when I talk to a lawyer?
You are welcome to have a support person present when you speak to our lawyers, but please be aware that the lawyer may ask the support person to leave the room while they are speaking to you. This is to make sure that the lawyer is only taking instructions from you directly and that the conversation remains private and confidential, as the support person is not subject to the same strict rules about confidentiality that apply to lawyers.
I have a family violence intervention order application at Court, do I have to wait until the Court date to speak to a lawyer?
No. You shouldn’t wait until your Court date to speak to a lawyer. We encourage you to contact us as soon as you know that you have a Court date so that you can get advice as early as possible and check whether our duty lawyers will be available for you at Court. Our duty lawyers receive a high number of referrals on Court days, so contacting us as early as possible may help reduce the waiting time on the day of Court.
If you can’t contact us early, it is important to tell the Court that you want to speak to a duty lawyer when you let them know that you are at Court on the morning of your Court date. Due to COVID-19, this may mean you need to call the Court. The Court will then refer you to the duty lawyer service, if a duty lawyer service is available that day.
I work for a community organisation and have referred some to your service, can I get updates on their legal issue?
Lawyers are subject to strict ethical requirements regarding client confidentiality. That means that GCLS cannot provide community organisation workers with information or updates about a matter unless a client gives us instructions that they want the information to be provided to the worker in question.