How we work
As a not-for-profit community legal service our capacity is limited and subject to demand.
In busy times, we will prioritise people with the most urgent need, such as those who are undergoing involuntary treatment for mental illness.
What Sets Us Apart?
We’ve brought together qualified lawyers, paralegals and community workers to deliver a seamless multidisciplined approach that ranges from advice, to early intervention and advocacy, representation in court, and referral to other services for ongoing care and support.
At Ruah Legal Services we have always recognised that our clients need us for the duration of their journey and that our support is integral to their journey back to wellness.
What that means is that once we confirm that clients are eligible for our services, we won’t just offer a quick advice, or drafting of documents. What we offer is a wraparound end to end service.
That means that we represent our clients in Court as many times as needed to reach a resolution for their legal matter.
We also recognise that legal issues are often accompanied by challenges in other areas of a person’s life, and that’s where our Key Workers make a big difference. Working alongside lawyers, Key Workers support clients throughout the legal process, and help them to connect to services to address challenges with mental health, finances, housing, drug and alcohol dependency and other difficulties.
Working together we make a plan to help our clients find a way back to stability.
What issues can we help with?
- Involuntary Treatment Orders
- Criminal Law Proceedings
- Guardianship and Administration Orders
- Care and Protection Proceedings
- Family and Domestic Violence
What issues can we not help with?
- Migration advice
- Consumer law
If we cannot help you with your legal issue, we will refer you to another legal services that might be able to assist.
Accessing Our Services
Our Telephone Advice Line is often the first port of call for clients, carers and service providers.
The phones are staffed by volunteer paralegals and supervised by lawyers.
Team members will go through a checklist to see if you qualify for support through Ruah Legal Services. If you are eligible for assistance, our Principal Lawyer will review your case to see if we have capacity to represent you. If we are unable to assist we will help to refer you to another legal assistance service.
Our team can also provide general legal information and put you in touch with other services.
If you are concerned about a friend or family member, we may be able to provide general information, but we cannot assist unless the client contacts us directly.
Our advice is free and available to clients who qualify for our services.
We’re available when you need it.
Convenient downloadable forms for you.
Read more about Ruah Legal Services and the Mental Health Law Centre in our annual reports. From 2020-21, we report on our operations as ‘One Ruah’ reflecting our merger with Ruah Community Services in 2019 and the expansion of our integrated legal and non-legal support to families.