Accessibility 1

Our Process

Essential information

Before we are able to book you in for an appointment with a TEWLS lawyer, we need to know your full name and the full name of the person who is on the other side of your legal matter – this is usually the person, organisation, or government department that you’re having problems with. Like all legal services, TEWLS needs this information so that we can determine whether there are any conflicts of interest that would mean that we’re not able to give you legal advice. 

Initial contact

When you call our office, you will talk to our administration team first. They will take down some basic details about what you’re going through to ensure that it is the type of legal problem that TEWLS can help with. They will then advise you that someone from our intake team will contact you as soon as possible (or, if they’re available, will transfer your call to a member of our intake team).

Where your legal problem falls outside TEWLS’ service area, or there is some other reason we won’t be able to help, our staff will direct you to another service that can help.

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You will then receive a call from/speak with our intake staff. They will ask you some more questions about what you have experienced and what you are having difficulty with. This information is necessary to give the TEWLS lawyer some background on your legal problem before you have your first appointment together.

Our intake team will work with you to book you in for an appointment. Due to significant demand for our services, there may be a wait-time before an appointment is available. Where urgent legal advice is needed, we will try our best to facilitate an appointment as soon as possible or an appropriate referral where necessary.

Preparing for and attending your first appointment

Your first appointment is for your lawyer to listen to your story, provide advice tailored to your situation, and answer any specific questions that you have. We want you to be as comfortable as possible, so please let us know beforehand if there’s anything we can do to make the appointment better for you – we understand that meeting with a lawyer can be a big experience, with our team trained in trauma-informed and sensitive practice.

It is important to bring along any documents that are relevant to understanding your legal problem, such as like copies of parenting plans, courts documents or orders that you’re wishing to discuss.

It is free to get help from TEWLS and we don’t charge any fees for our assistance. We can also arrange interpreters in any language, including Auslan, at no cost to you.

TEWLS offers in-person, phone, and video appointments. Appointments range from 30 minutes to an hour.

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Ongoing assistance (including Court representation)

As a small team, we are able to provide ongoing casework or legal representation only where there is hardship and/or some other barrier to accessing justice. When making this decision, TEWLS will take into consideration many different factors such as health and disability barriers, experiences of domestic, family and sexual violence, cultural and/or linguistic barriers, financial hardship, and homelessness, as well as TEWLS’ capacity to assist at that time.

If we are not able to provide ongoing assistance, we will provide you with other appropriate referrals for legal and support services, including private legal practitioners, in your local area.



Any information you tell us throughout this process is confidential. We will not share your information outside our organisation without your consent, except in very limited circumstances where we are required by law (such as mandatory reporting laws).

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Advancing Women’s Rights
Free legal help for women & non-binary persons


The TEWLS website has a “quick exit” button in the top right-hand corner of the page.

This button will close the TEWLS website and open the Bureau of Meteorology website. You may need to use this button if you are worried that someone is watching you use the computer or that you have been looking at the TEWLS website.

The “quick exit” button does not delete your browser history. This means that if someone checks your browser history, they will be able to see that you have visited the TEWLS website.


Remember, deleting large parts of your internet history may be dangerous. This is because it may tell someone that you do not want your internet history to be found.

If you need help with online safety and/or technological safety, you can visit the eSafety Commissioner website here or you can call 1800 RESPECT on their 24-hour telephone counselling and support service. If you are in danger, you should call the Police on 000.


If you would like to speak to TEWLS with an interpreter:

You can call TEWLS on 1800 234 441 and ask to speak to us with an interpreter. We can organise this for free. You will need to tell us your name, your phone number and the language that you speak. We will then call you back with an interpreter on the phone.

TEWLS are able to organise interpreters for most languages, including Aboriginal languages and Auslan.


You can also organise for TEWLS to contact you:

To organise for TEWLS to contact you, please complete the form through the Request An Appointment button on the TEWLS home page.


If you would like to listen to the TEWLS website in an
Aboriginal language:

TEWLS has had four Top End Aboriginal languages recorded for this website. You can click the “play” button to listen to these recordings.

The languages that are currently available are:

  • Murrinh-Patha
  • Tiwi
  • Warlpiri
  • Yolngu Matha

If you would like to read the TEWLS website in a language other than English:

The TEWLS website is able to be translated to lots of different languages. To change the language settings, press the “English” button in the top bar of the website and choose the language that you speak.
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