Community legal education

Last updated:  08 May 2024

Community legal education helps build knowledge about people’s legal rights and responsibilities and lets them know where they can get help if they have a legal problem.

There are a range of government and legal agencies with an interest in providing community legal education. Developing partnerships with these agencies can be mutually beneficial.  

Legal talks and other programs can be delivered at any time of the year. However, many libraries focus their programs around specific times of year, for example:

  • Seniors Festival in March
  • Youth Week in April
  • Law Week in May
  • Scams Awareness Week in November

Following are some suggestions of agencies and organisations you can contact.

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW is a statewide government agency that helps people in NSW with their legal problems. 

Legal Aid run free workshops, presentations, webinars and information stalls. You can request a talk using their online form

Please note: Legal Aid cannot guarantee a speaker at your event. It will depend on staff availability. They are unable to provide a speaker unless a minimum number of participants is guaranteed.

Many libraries have existing relationships with their local Legal Aid office. You can contact your local Legal Aid office directly, or contact us and we will approach them for you.

Community legal centres

Community legal centres (CLCs) give free and confidential legal help to people in need. There are 41 CLCs across NSW.

Many CLCs offer community legal education talks and are interested in working with libraries. Find your local CLC.  

You can contact your local CLC directly, or contact us and we will approach them for you.

Your council

Does your council have a youth engagement team? Or a seniors program? Does your council offer community fairs, expos or information days? Consider your council when planning events.  

ID Support NSW

ID Support NSW is a NSW government agency. They make it easier for people to access help if their NSW Government proof of identity information is stolen, used or accessed without knowledge or consent.

They provide information sessions about how to prevent identity misuse. Topics covered include:

  • What to do if your proof of identity documents or credentials are stolen or fraudulently accessed.
  • How to mitigate the risks of online threats and scams.
  • How to spot a phishing attack.
  • How to enable safety protocols and features on your devices to safeguard your personal information.

Book your session using their online form

Anti-Discrimination NSW

Anti-Discrimination NSW offers free online or in-person information sessions for community groups. The sessions cover how to recognise when unfair treatment may be against the law and when it's not and how to recognise, address and report discrimination.  

Cooperative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD)

Legal Aid’s Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program (CLSD) is designed to connect legal service and information providers, including public libraries, with each other to better assist clients in need of legal information and assistance.  

There are twelve regions: Central Coast, Central Tablelands, Central West, Far West, Greater Albury, Hunter, Kempsey Nambucca, Moree, Northern Rivers, Riverina, South Coast, and Taree Forster.  

If you are in one of these regions, you can get involved by contacting the regional coordinator. Attending meetings allows you to find out what legal services are doing in your area and find out useful referral information. It is also a good opportunity to promote the fact that legal information is available at the library. It’s always a good idea to take along one of the Tool Kit titles – many legal workers have no idea of the wealth of plain language information that is available to their clients. Many libraries have used the contacts they have made at CLSD meetings to find speakers for events, or put on joint events. There is more detail about the program on Legal Aid’s CLSD page.   

Local community groups

There are many organisations and community groups that you could contact. Examples include:

  • Community centres
  • Neighbourhood centres
  • Migrant resource centres and other multicultural groups
  • U3A
  • Police station.

Contact these groups and see if they would like to present a talk or other event at the library.

Local solicitor

There may be a local solicitor in your community who would be happy to deliver a talk about a topic of interest to your community. Popular topics include wills, estates and planning, and strata law.

Working with partner agencies

  • Find more information about how to work with a partner agency on our Partnerships page