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​Aboriginal Legal Service

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited

Assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children through representation in court, advice and information, prisoner support while inside and when people are leaving prison, and referral to further support services. We have 23 offices and 180 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff across NSW and ACT working towards achieving justice for Aboriginal people, the Koori way.

ALS assists Aboriginal people in and outside the courtroom.

Criminal Law

assists Aboriginal men and women who have come into contact with Police or the courts. ALS assists Aboriginal children and juveniles who have come into contact with Police or the courts, youth detention or incarceration.

Care and Protection Service

ALS helps Aboriginal people who have child protection matters that involve the NSW Department of Human Services – Community Services (used to be known as DoCS).

Prisoner and Family Support Unit

ALS aims to reduce the rate of recidivism among Aboriginal offenders. The Prisoner and Family Support Unit provides support to people who are leaving prison. The Prisoner and Family Support Unit works with other service providers to assist in a prisoner’s rehabilitation and their return to families and communities.

Custody Notification Service

ALS is concerned that Aboriginal peoples’ fundamental rights are respected when they are taken into custody. The ALS Custody Notification Service is an open phone line staffed by an ALS lawyer 24 hours per day, every day of the year. By law, the police must notify the ALS whenever an Aboriginal person is arrested. An ALS lawyer will speak with the Aboriginal person in custody, give legal advice, and check they’re OK.

Field Officers

ALS Field Officers provide people with immediate access to advice and assistance with extra-legal problems. Criminal Law Field Officers assist lawyers talk to Aboriginal clients and their families. Prisoner and Family Support Unit Field Officers assist prisoners being released back into the community. Care and Protection Field Officers work closely with victims of family violence, pre-and post-release prisoners, and with families who have had their children taken by Community Services NSW (used to be DoCS). Field Officers arrange for referral in appropriate cases to service providers, and they provide legal and social justice education in the community.

Other areas of law

ALS lawyers can provide legal advice or referral for family and civil law issues. We also have Civil Law clinics operating from a number of our offices run by Legal Aid NSW.

Law Reform

The ALS advocates for protection of the rights of Aboriginal people, in particular coronial reform and other advances in the Criminal Justice System.

Community Legal Education

The ALS develops, produces and delivers community legal education activities and programs to families, community and stakeholders.

Student Volunteer Program

Our Student Volunteer Program assists university students or graduates who are completing their Diploma or Degree in Law. We also have a student placement arrangement with the University of Sydney where students are placed at the ALS and gain credit for their experience as a component of their undergraduate program.