About The Shopfront
The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre provides free legal assistance for homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 25 and under. We are based in inner Sydney but can also help young people outside this area.
The Shopfront was established in 1993 and is operated jointly by Herbert Smith Freehills, Mission Australia and The Salvation Army. The legal services are provided by Herbert Smith Freehills on a pro bono basis and our case work service is provided by Mission Australia.
What do we do?
Legal advice and representation for young people
We provide legal representation and advice to homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 25 and under.
We also have a case work service to provide social support and referrals to a range of other services.
See more on what we can do for you.
Legal education for young people and youth services
We can provide information and training, about a range of legal issues, for young people and youth services.
We can arrange training workshops to suit individual agencies. Please contact us (preferably by email) for more information.
Please see Legal information for young people and youth workers and Information for the legal profession.
Campaigning for better laws and policies for disadvantaged young people
The Shopfront participates in campaigns to raise public awareness of issues affecting young and disadvantaged people.
By making submissions to government and parliamentary enquiries, we also try to improve laws and policies.
See our Policy submissions and papers
What we can do for you
We provide legal services and other support for homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 25 and under.
We specialise in:
Court representation on criminal charges, traffic matters and apprehended violence orders
Legal advice on criminal law issues, including dealing with police
Help to deal with unpaid fines
Advice and assistance for victims of crime, including AVOs and victims compensation claims.
We can also provide advice and referrals on other legal issues including:
general legal rights for young people, including leaving home, medical treatment, contracts, school issues
family law, including child protection law
complaints and appeals against government decisions
police misconduct including wrongful arrest
We can also provide support with non-legal issues including:
case management for young with complex needs who need extra support
referrals to other services including accommodation, health, alcohol and other drug services, financial assistance, and specialised counselling.
We can sometimes help young people who are not homeless or disadvantaged, but who have difficulty finding legal assistance elsewhere.
We are a New South Wales based service, and cannot give legal advice on interstate matters, but we may be able to refer clients to interstate legal services.
If you are under 18 and need urgent advice about police or criminal law issues, you can call the Legal Aid Youth Hotline on 1800 10 18 10. They are open from 9am to midnight Monday to Thursday, and 24 hours weekends and public holidays.
We welcome referrals from youth services. Please call us during office hours, or email us any time, with as much detail as you can about the young person and their legal issues.
The Shopfront also thanks the following organisations for their support: Legal Aid NSW, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Matana Foundation for Young People