In this article, we cover :
- Community Legal Clinics (For Singaporeans & PR)
- Legal Aid & Drafting of Legal Documents (For Singaporeans & PR)
- AWARE Legal Clinic (For Women)
To keep this guide short, we have provided links that you can click on to get more details of the clinics you are interested in.
What are legal clinics?
Legal clinics are centres where you can get legal consultation and help/advice for legal matters. If you are reading this, chances are you’re probably looking for some sort of legal help. For most legal clinics, do note that it is open only to those who are earning below a certain income, or those unable to afford a lawyer.
If you are earning above the amounts required to qualify for legal advice, you might need to talk to a lawyer directly for legal help.
If you are short of time and only have 1 minute to learn about legal clinics, click here for a super simple overview of what they are, and how to get started.
Community Legal Clinic
There are many kinds of legal clinics all across Singapore. One of which would be the community legal clinics offered by the Law Society of Singapore. However, not all matters are eligible for help at legal clinics. You have to ensure that you meet the requirements before registering for an appointment :
- You are a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident living in Singapore facing a legal issue on a personal matter (investment, business and professional matters are not covered)
- You have never sought legal advice before and/or are unable afford a lawyer
- The Know the Law Now booklet has not addressed your issue fully (be warned, it’s a pretty lengthy document)
If you satisfy the requirements, then you may register for an appointment via the following options :
- Calling the Community Legal Clinic at 6536 0650
- Email them at [email protected]
- Go down personally to the Community Justice Centre located at Level 1, The State Courts of Singapore.
If your appointment is accepted, please bring all relevant documents relating to your legal matter. For a detailed list of things to prepare, please visit : http://probono.lawsociety.org.sg/Pages/Community-Legal-Clinic.aspx .
These clinics run from Mondays to Thursdays (excluding public holidays and eve of public holidays). At the legal clinic, you will be able to see a lawyer on a one-to-one basis for 20 minutes.
For Women : AWARE Legal Clinics
AWARE is a gender equality advocacy group in Singapore. The legal clinic is free but open only to women who earn less than $3,000 per month.
They have legal clinics for women in a wide-range of areas that are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, from 7pm to 9.30pm. One of the advantages of the AWARE Legal Clinic is that you can be anonymous when calling, all cases and calls are kept confidential, and they even offer help for women facing sexual abuse
For sexual abuse cases, call 6779 0282 (Mon-Fri, 10am till midnight).
To register for an appointment at AWARE’s Legal Clinic, you can :
- Call their hotline at 1800 777 5555 (open Monday to Friday from 3pm to 9.30pm)
- Email [email protected]
- Fill up the legal clinic online form
Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) – Legal Aid & Drafting of Legal Documents
The Legal Aid Bureau provides 3 types of services :
Oral advice by LAB lawyers on questions of Singapore law and the practical steps you may take in the circumstances of your case.
Representations by a legal aid lawyer in civil proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Courts, the Magistrates’ Courts, the Syariah Court as well as proceedings under the Women’s Charter.
Drafting of various legal documents including deeds of separation (separation from spouse before deciding on a divorce) and deeds of severance of cohabitation. Source : Ministry of Law
Important points to take note :
- Legal Aid provided by LAB is not free. For details on the payment structure, click here.
- Not all types of cases are handled by LAB. These include criminal proceedings and defamation cases. For criminal proceedings, you may contact the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme here.
- You have to undergo a means and merits test. More info on these here.
What if I don’t qualify for any of the above?
This might mean that you :
- Are earning above the amount required to qualify for help at legal clinics
- Have a case that is not covered by legal clinics
- Are non-Singaporean or non-PR
If this is the case, or if you don’t qualify for other reasons, you may have to talk to a Lawyer directly.
For that, you can fill up the form on our site with details of your legal problem, and one of our lawyers will get in touch with you. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] with details of your legal issue and we’ll assign a lawyer to respond to you.
Our lawyers offer free guidance on what to do over email/phone (where possible). But for more complex cases, a face to face appointment might be required.
Our services are entirely free. You are not charged anything unless you hire a lawyer for legal work, in which case you pay the lawyer directly.
Other Resources :
List of legal clinics in Singapore :