A non-profit legal advice website, called LawSpot, will allow members of the public free access to lawyers to submit questions.
About 50 lawyers from firms in the Wellington region are volunteering to answer questions that are submitted from the public. The questions are screened by volunteer law students or recent graduates who remove any identifying information, making sure questions are anonymous to the lawyers responding.
The website will featurea searchable database of previous questions so users can look for similar questions and see how the answer applied to their own situation.
Citizens Advice Bureau already offers assistance and the Community Law website publishes online copies of laws so people can check what their rights are. However, LawSpot aims to be highly accessible and easily understood by people. There are plans to offer the service in Pacific, Maori, Chinese and other languages as new immigrants or people who have English as a second language are often particularly vulnerable to not understanding New Zealand law.