9 Legal Clinics Which Offer Free Legal Advice in Singapore
If you are looking for free legal advice on your legal issue, visiting a legal clinic may be an ideal solution.
There are many legal clinics in Singapore, organised by both governmental and non-profit organisations. Here are 9 of them.
1. Multiple locations: Community Legal Clinics, by The Law Society of Singapore
Community Legal Clinics accept appointments from Singaporeans and Permanent Residents living in Singapore who need legal advice on personal matters (i.e. investment, business and professional matters are not applicable).
The clinic is only open to people who have never sought legal advice before, and who are not represented by lawyers. At the legal clinic, you will be able to see a volunteer lawyer for 20 minutes on a strictly confidential basis.
Community Legal Clinics are held every Monday to Thursday (except public holidays and eves of public holidays) at 4 different locations. These locations are:
- North West District: Woodlands Civic Centre
- South East District: Singapore Post Centre
- South West District: The JTC Summit
- Central Singapore District: HDB Hub
To make an appointment, you can call 6536 0650 or email the Pro Bono Services Office at ProBonoServices@lawsoc.org.sg. You should also bring all relevant documents to the session to help the lawyer to best understand and advise on your situation.
Visit the Law Society website for more information on the Community Legal Clinics.
2. Open to applicants of all nationalities: Legal Clinic by the Singapore Management University Pro Bono Centre
Conveniently located in town, the Singapore Management University (SMU) Pro Bono Centre welcomes applicants of all nationalities (including foreigners) to its legal clinic.
To be eligible for a consultation with the clinic’s volunteer lawyers, you must be earning:
- For single applicants: Less than $3,500 per month
- For married applicants: A combined income of less than $5,500 per month ($5,660 if you have children)
Your matter must also be a personal matter (i.e. not a business or professional-related matter).
As the legal clinic is held every Friday evening, the SMU Pro Bono Centre legal clinic is also an option for people who require urgent, last-minute legal advice before attending court hearings the following Monday.
To make an appointment, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6828 1951.
Visit the SMU Pro Bono Centre website for more information on its legal clinic.
3. For litigants-in-person: On-Site Legal Advice Scheme, by the Community Justice Centre
The Community Justice Centre is a non-profit organisation which looks out for the interests of litigants-in-person (i.e. people who are representing themselves in court, without a lawyer). It organises the On-Site Legal Advice Scheme, providing free and immediate advice to litigants-in-person who urgently need legal advice. The clinic operates on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is required.
Clinic sessions take place at the State Courts and are available from Mondays to Fridays (except for public holidays), 10am to 12.30pm and 2.30pm to 5.00pm. The sessions are conducted by volunteer lawyers and last for up to 20 minutes. Litigants-in-person may only make use of this service once.
Visit the Community Justice Centre website for more information on the On-Site Legal Advice Scheme.
4. Consumer complaints: Legal Consultation by the Consumer Association of Singapore
The Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to protecting consumers’ interests. If you are involved in a consumer-to-business dispute, you can consult a CASE officer.
During the consultation, the officer will assess your case and make recommendations accordingly.
You can walk in to consult with an officer at the CASE office between 9am to 4pm from Mondays to Saturdays. For general inquiries, you can also call CASE at 6100 0315.
Visit the CASE website for more information on the consumer dispute resolution services provided by CASE.
5. For women only: Legal Clinic by the Association of Women for Action and Research
The Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), a non-governmental organisation advocating for gender equality, offers free one-time legal consultations to women only.
Only women earning less than $3,000 a month and who have not already engaged lawyers for their legal matters qualify for free legal advice at AWARE’s legal clinic.
Clinic sessions are conducted on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, and each session lasts 20 to 30 minutes. All cases are kept strictly confidential.
To make an appointment, you can call the AWARE hotline at 1800 774 5935. The hotline is open from Monday to Friday, 3pm to 9.30pm.
Visit the AWARE website for more information on its legal clinic.
6. For start-ups: Legal Clinic by the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE)
If you are a start-up, you may be eligible for complimentary legal advice for your business at the ACE Legal Clinic. Backed by the Ministry of Trade & Industry, the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a private organisation that supports entrepreneurship initiatives in Singapore.
The ACE Legal Clinic operates on alternate Tuesday afternoons at the JTC LaunchPad @ one-north. Each legal consultation session will last up to an hour.
You can register for a consultation on the ACE website. ACE will then get back to you to confirm your appointment.
7. Intellectual property matters: IP Legal Clinic, by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
If you need legal advice on intellectual property matters, consider visiting the IP Legal Clinic organised by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
Clinic sessions are usually held on Thursdays and last around 45 minutes. You will have to pay $200-$400 for the session to the lawyer handling your case, but IPOS will reimburse you this fee afterwards.
You can make an appointment at the IPOS website. When making the appointment, you will need to provide your IP application/registration numbers (if any) and the details of the other party involved.
Visit the IPOS website for more information on the IP Legal Clinic.
8. Syariah Law Matters: Jamiyah Legal Clinic by the Muslim Missionary Society Singapore (Jamiyah Singapore)
If you need free legal advice in matters relating to syariah law, you can visit the Jamiyah Legal Clinic by the Muslim Missonary Society Singapore (also known as Jamiyah Singapore).
While the clinic will refer cases relating to syariah law to a special panel of Muslim lawyers, it also offers advice on issues not relating to syariah law for people of all races and religions, which includes family disputes, matrimonial problems, and division of property. Applicants can also request to meet either Muslim or non-Muslim volunteer lawyers.
Consultations are by appointment only, and your eligibility is determined when you call to make the appointment. To set a date and time for an appointment, you will have to call Mdm Napsiah Rakisan at 67431211 Ext 26. Applicants must attend in person.
The legal clinic operates on Wednesdays (6pm to 7pm) and Saturdays (3pm to 5pm) at Jamiyah Centre Level 4, 31 Lorong 12 Geylang.
If the applicant is elderly or frail, and has difficulty in coming down to the clinic’s main address, the legal clinic also provides video-conferencing services at special kiosks at Kaki Bukit Community Centre and Eunos Community Club. These iCounsel clinics operate from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on every second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
Should you need more information about the Jamiyah Legal Clinic, you can contact them via the Jamiyah Singapore website.
9. For migrant workers: Legal Clinic by the Migrant Workers’ Centre
Work Permit and S Pass holders in Singapore who need legal advice can approach the Migrant Workers’ Centre, which holds a free legal clinic on every first and third Saturday of the month, 12 to 2 pm.
To get started, fill in this form on the Migrant Workers’ Centre website.
Need extra help?
If you need to hire a lawyer but worry about not being able to afford one, you may consider applying for legal aid. This allows you to obtain legal services from a lawyer either free of charge or at a subsidised rate. You may need to a pass a means test to qualify for legal aid.
Read our other article for more information on obtaining legal aid in Singapore.
Call a Lawyer service
If you don’t qualify for legal aid or for free legal advice at the above legal clinics (for example, if you represent an SME requiring legal advice on a business matter), and your issue does not require a lengthy discussion with a lawyer, you may use our Call A Lawyer service.
For just S$49, you can get a 20-minute phone consultation on your legal matter by a Singapore-qualified lawyer within 24 hours.
Find a Lawyer service
Alternatively, if you find yourself needing a lawyer for more detailed legal advice or legal representation, you may find one using our Find A Lawyer service.
This online service allows you to contact and receive non-obligatory quotes from up to 5 experienced lawyers of your choosing. Use of this service is free.