Gold Coast volunteer lawyers offer free legal advice

An award-winning, volunteer-based community legal centre in Robina is providing $2 million in free legal advice every year, benefiting thousands of Gold Coasters who find themselves in legal trouble.

My Community Legal– an independent initiative of the Gold Coast District Law Association– provides local practitioners and law students intending to become lawyers the opportunity to serve the Gold Coast and northern Tweed regions by providing free legal services to locals with priority needs.

Based at the Robina Community Centre, My Community Legal currently has around 60 qualified lawyers on its books, who team up with 30 law students from Bond and Griffith Universities.

Volunteer students and lawyers provide administrative and specialist legal advice to locals on matters ranging from family domestic violence, consumer in debt and employment, to tenancy and neighbourhood disputes, injury, micro-business and immigration law.

In addition to a team of some of the city’s best and most passionate qualified lawyers, My Community Legal also has the backing of its eminent patron, the Honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Catherine Holmes.

Founding President of My Community Legal and owner of Lee Lawyers, Ross Lee (pictured above), said he decided to start-up the Gold Coast’s second community legal centre in Robina in 2014. He had identified an unmet need where both sides of a dispute wished to be seen by a community legal centre in the city.

“When a legal centre sees one side of a matter, it is a legal and ethical conflict to see the other – which is the same situation for a private practice law firm,” he said.

“Community legal centres are quite abundant in major Australia cities like Brisbane, but as soon as you move into regional and remote parts of the country, that’s when they become quite scarce.

“My Community Legal provides yet another option for locals to seek free legal advice on the Gold Coast – and the city’s population of more than 600,000 people means there is definitely the demand for us.

“The dynamic of having more than one entity in a city this big is a positive for the people of the Gold Coast.”

Mr Lee said My Community Legal ‘did a lot with a little’.

“We’re astonishing value for money for people living in our community in priority need areas who can’t afford to pay for legal advice,” he said.

“If you work out hourly rates in terms of what lawyers and support staff charge in private practice and compare the amount our centre gives back, the leveraging of all that donated time is astonishing.

“Some of the most vulnerable members of our society benefit from our counsel, including single parents, indigenous Australians and the unemployed, and this reduces enormous amounts of stress on households and businesses.”

My Community Legal has won several local, state and national awards in its time, including the inaugural Queensland Law Society’s Community Legal Centre of the Year Member and President’s Medal, and the prestigious Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards for Pro-Bono Program of the Year, which saw them up against some of the largest ‘mega firms’ in the country.

Mr Lee said the community wasn’t the only beneficiary of My Community Legal – with practicing lawyers and students also reaping the rewards of the organisation.

“Qualified lawyers love getting involved and often stay with us for many years because it is a great way for them to give back to the community in a pro-bono sense, and it’s also an excellent networking opportunity for them,” he said.

“Law students are very keen at that point in their career, too, and their eyes are opened. Some are quite sheltered in their upbringing and studies, so it’s good for them to see real people with real needs getting real help.”

Mr Lee said Robina’s reputation as a ‘central Gold Coast CBD’ meant the area was the only and natural choice in terms of where to base My Community Legal.

“It’s often hard for our clients to travel, so Robina provides us with good accessibility – particularly for our more vulnerable clients,” he said.

“Being based in Robina made sense for us because the other community legal centre is based in Southport – so they have the northern end covered and we are able to service the central and southern Gold Coast, and Tweed.

“Our exceptional free community service and central location in Robina has allowed us to more than double in size and grow from five legal advice desks to 12 since we opened about five years ago.”

Find out more

For more information about My Community Legal visit or turn up to the centre on Thursday evenings from 5pm for a consultation. 

My Community Legal is located at:

Robina Community Centre
196 Robina Town Centre Drive
Robina  Qld  4226

Contact 0423 466 286, or email