Click to start searching

Guide to eligibility for legal advice

Thousands of Australian not-for-profit organisations face legal issues every day. We’re here to help. If your organisation is an eligible charity, not-for-profit or social enterprise, you may be able to receive free legal advice. You can also try to find the answer to your question in our free library of 300+ self-help resources for community organisations, available at

Our eligibility criteria is outlined below. Alternatively, you can download a printable version of the criteria:

Not-for-profit Law Guide to eligibility

When determining if your group or organisation will be eligible for free legal advice, we consider the following:

1. Are you applying on behalf of an established not-for-profit organisation or social enterprise that is based in Australia?

We can only provide free legal advice to organisations that are established and already operating in Australia. We only assist organisations that operate on a not-for-profit basis.

If you’re starting a new organisation, our free self-help resources on Getting Started will help guide you through key legal decisions.

If your organisation is based and operating in NSW, we are unable to assist you with your legal issue at this time.

We are dedicated to helping as many community organisations as we can, but since the NSW Government stopped funding our core work in that state over 12 months ago, we unfortunately have cut off our NSW advice services completely. Find out more.

2. Is your organisation a not-for-profit or social enterprise with an eligible purpose?

If your not-for-profit or social enterprise is providing relief to people in need, you may be eligible for free legal advice.

Unless your organisation is delivering services to help marginalised or disadvantaged people or communities in need, we typically cannot provide advice to sporting clubs, religious groups, business associations, trade unions, childcare centres schools or kindergartens, arts or cultural organisations, environmental groups, or animal welfare organisations.

3. Is your organisation unable to afford or access legal help?

We take into account whether your organisation is unable to pay for legal advice. We look at your organisation’s annual turnover when determining if we can help.

4. Can we help resolve your legal issue?

We specialise in providing legal help and support to not-for-profit organisations, so we know just how time-consuming and confusing complying with legal obligations can be. We have eligibility criteria that we apply and will consider whether we have internal expertise to advise on your legal issue, or if it's a legal issue that our member law firms are likely to be able to assist with.

We cannot assist with urgent legal issues or issues of a certain nature, including:

  • Disputes involving members and/or board members
  • Conflicts or disputes between not-for-profit organisations, and
  • Issues involving complex or long-term court action.

If you’re looking for help managing a dispute, read our free self-help resources on handling disputes and conflicts.

Two lawyers

If you answered YES to the above questions, your organisation may be eligible for free legal advice.

Making a simple online enquiry is the quickest and easiest way to find out if we can help. If you have authority to make a legal enquiry on behalf of your organisation, apply for legal help at and our lawyers will get back to you.

Just because you might not be eligible for free legal advice doesn’t mean we can’t help. If you answered NO to the above questions, you can still access our library of 300+ free self-help resources for community organisations, available at

This is only a guide. Access to free legal advice through Justice Connect's Not-for-profit Law program is also subject to service capacity. Please submit an online enquiry if you are unsure whether your organisation is eligible for free legal advice. We generally do not provide reasons for not assisting in a particular matter.