We specialise in providing veterans and their families with the best possible legal advice
When you need someone to listen and make life simple again
As part of the Veteran community, we understand what it is like to have left the armed services and then be faced with a legal issue. Getting legal help can be too hard, or too expensive. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed or helpless. Duty First Legal Service is here to make you feel helped, not helpless. We are a not-for-profit legal service which means that our fees are significantly lower than the industry standard. We care about you and your family and the outcome of your legal issue. We are an independent, not for profit legal service, which is only for those who have served in the Australian armed services including the Army, Navy or Airforce or those who are left behind after the veteran has passed away. Whether you are looking for one off legal advice or need us to guide you through a difficult legal issue, we are here to help.
Eligibility & Fees
To be eligible for help from Duty First you need to be a Veteran and have served in the Australian Armed Services (army, navy or air force). We also assist war widows and partners of Veterans who have passed away or who are incapacitated (TPI) as a result of their service.
Veterans and their families occupy a special place within the Australian community. You served our Country and now we are here to help and support you. As a not-for-profit Legal Service, our fees are significantly lower than the industry standard. There is no profit or revenue in our fees and all of our income is used in Supporting Veterans.
We don’t rely on government grants or funding to cover our legal work and any fees or donations we receive are used to help Veterans. Those who can afford to pay for our services are charged fees which are significantly lower than the industry standard in recognition of your service. Those who can not afford to pay for our services, receive our services for free. By supporting us, you are supporting the Veteran Community.
If you are a Veteran and you need legal help, please contact us. If you are a member of the Community and would like to support Veterans, please support our Service by donating, volunteering or becoming a member. You can do this by contacting our office on the details below.
How We can Help You or the Veteran in Your Life
Duty First Legal Service offer free 45 minute advice sessions to Veterans who are in need, in person or over the phone. We also offer drop-in services where our qualified Solicitors can help you to complete forms and provide referral services. For those who are interested in more general advice, our Solicitors can provide information seminars to groups, on request. If you are unable to attend our office in person due to illness, then please call our office to discuss your needs. At times, we can visit you in your home or hospital to assist with your legal needs.
Family Law, Elder Abuse and Domestic Violence Assistance
Veterans experience a higher number of family breakdowns and divorce than the general population. Although individual circumstances differ, it is thought that the reason for this may be largely due to the traumatic experiences involved in active service. Duty First Legal Service is here to help you navigate your way through the separation process. We can assist with mediation, dispute resolution, parenting agreements, property settlements and divorce applications. We can also assist if you are experiencing elder abuse or domestic violence.
Legacy Documents including Wills and Estates
Many members of the Veteran community are reaching an age where they might be considering the impact that them passing away could have on their family. If you pass away without a Will, it may cause unnecessary hardship and distress for your family and friends. Having a Will is one of the most important things you can do for them. Duty First Legal Service can help you prepare for bereavement and look after your family by helping you to get your affairs in order. We can assist with the preparation of Legacy documents including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advanced Health Directives.
Mental Health Review Tribunal and Court Representation
Managing a mental illness can be complex and challenging, and it is important to know that you are not alone. There are a number of organisations available for help and support, and we are able to personally assist you to access those services and to advocate for you where you might request support.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence while diagnosed with a mental illness, we can provide you with legal advice. If you are preparing to appear before the Mental Health Review Tribunal, we can provide you with legal support and assistance and appear with you before the Tribunal. If you are going to the Mental Health Court or you want to be referred to the Mental Health Court please call us for individual and confidential legal advice, assistance and referrals to support you through the process.
Independent Legal Advice on a range of legal matters including DVA and Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Claims (MRCA VEA SRDP)
If you have been to see an Advocate or need further assistance with your claims, we may be able to help you. If you are eligible for SRDP (special rate disability pension) DVA highly recommends that you seek independent legal and financial advice from a suitably qualified lawyer and financial advisor before choosing to receive SRDP. SRDP is a very complex issue and DVA will reimburse you for the costs you may incur in obtaining legal or financial advice with regards to choosing if SRDP is right for you. Duty First Legal Service can assist you with this process and provide you with legal advice from one of our suitably qualified Solicitors.
Mediation and Dispute Resolution Assistance
If you are experiencing a dispute we may be able to assist you with our mediation and dispute resolution services. You may be experiencing a neighbourhood dispute; building and construction dispute; life insurance or income protection issue; employment law dispute; or residential tenancy issue.
Buying or Selling Property
Considerable number of Veterans and their spouses or partners are involved in property transactions where they may require legal advice. These situations may include the buying and selling of residential or investment property; review of Retirement Village Contracts or Aged Care Facility agreements; or a separation or marriage breakdown where a property settlement needs to be addressed. Duty First Legal Service can provide Veterans and their spouses or partners with assistance with property transactions.
Traffic and Driving Offences
Being charged with a traffic offence can be very serious. Drink driving and drunk driving offences carry significant penalties and can impact your life for many years. Penalties for all offences can range from receiving a fine, incurring demerit points, a probation order or jail. It is unwise to appear before a Judge without providing a proper explanation for your actions with all the facts and circumstances that might be relevant before a legal sentence is pronounced against you. We can assist you with legal advice about traffic issues and appear with you in Court to make a formal plea to legal charges or to apply for a Work Licence or Special Hardship Order.
General Legal Services
If you are a Veteran and you are experiencing a legal issue, we are here to help you resolve the issue. Sometimes this help may be a referral to another service, however we will do our best to guide you and make the process as easy and affordable for you as possible. We can also assist with witnessing documents and completing forms. If you are a Veteran of the Australian armed services or an eligible relative, contact our office to arrange for one of our friendly team to assist you.
Become a Supporter
All money raised goes towards our Service and helping Veterans.
Supporter of Veterans
We are here for you
Every contribution makes a difference and goes towards helping Veterans.
It’s not about making a donation, its about making a difference in the life of a Veteran!