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History and services

History and services

Who are we?

Legal Aid WA is an independent statutory body set up by the Legal Aid Commission Act 1976 (WA).


The first legal aid scheme in WA was started by the Law Society in the 1960s. It relied heavily on private lawyers working for free. In 1974 the Commonwealth government set up the Australian Legal Aid Office (ALAO). The ALAO provided legal aid on Commonwealth matters like family law and bankruptcy and also helped members of the armed forces and war veterans. In 1978, ALAO was replaced by the Legal Aid Commission of WA as we know it today. This is funded by both the Commonwealth and State governments.

Our aims

We aim to:

  • help people to resolve their legal problems as soon as possible
  • make it easier for people to get legal help especially if they belong to a disadvantaged group
  • help people find alternatives to going to court give a high quality legal service.

To find out more about Legal Aid WA, see our Annual Reports.


Our services

We provide information, advice and other legal help. The type and amount of help you will get depends on your finances, your legal problem and our resources.

  • Information services: through our telephone information line, community legal education, this website and a range of publications and kits.
  • Legal advice: through our duty lawyers at court or legal advice sessions, either face to face, over the telephone or by video conference to people in remote areas.
  • Minor assistance: through lawyers or paralegal advisors who can help you negotiate, write letters, draft documents or prepare to represent yourself in court.
  • Legal representation: through lawyers working for Legal Aid WA as well as private lawyers. Only people with incomes and assets below a certain level get their own lawyer.

We also provide specialist services through our:

  • Dispute Resolution Unit
  • Family Court Services (Duty lawyer)
  • Children's Court (Protection) Services
  • Domestic Violence Legal Unit
  • Child Support
  • Civil Litigation Assistance Scheme
  • Immigration Service
  • Social Inclusion Program
  • Youth Law Team.

Click here for more detailed information about Legal Aid WA Services. We also work closely with private lawyers, community legal centres and other groups in the community. Legal Aid WA aims to provide services for people who are disadvantaged in accessing legal help.

Where are we?

We have eight local offices as well as the main office in Perth. For more information see Where to find us.  


Last reviewed: 08/07/2015

Last modified: 2/08/2017 2:42 PM


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.