Finding legal help in Norway can be tough, especially if you are not Norwegian and don’t speak the language fluently. Entering any kind of law-related situation can be stressful, and it may be hard to know who to talk to and where to get help for the issues you are dealing with.
Fortunately a number of organisations offer free legal services and advice throughout Norway. No matter where you live or your national status, you can get free help with most legal issues, such as:
- Immigration, visas, and work permits
- Social security
- Employment and labor
- Child and family
- Finances and debt
- Violence or abuse
- Criminal law (covered only by some organisations)
As each organisation has a different focus and region, we summarise them here so you can choose the right one for you. Most operate across the whole country, while Oslo and northern Norway have some additional options.
All of Norway
JURK was founded in 1974 and provides free legal help for women. If you have a legal concern related to family, housing, labour, immigration, or even if you just want advice on who to talk to, you can visit or call them during their opening hours on weekdays. You can also send your case directly through the website. To do this, you click on “Send us your case” at the top. Enter some personal information and explain what you need legal help with, and they will contact you during their weekday opening hours.
Jussformidlingen is run by students at the University of Bergen Faculty of Law. They work with all people and therefore have a wide range of experience with many civil law issues. They are located in Bergen, but handle many cases by phone and email for people throughout Norway. If you have questions or a specific case you would like to take forward, you can click “Send oss din sak” at the top to enter your information and a description of what you need help with.
Run by law students in Oslo, Jussbuss provides free legal aid to everyone in Norway. It specialises in finance and debt issues, immigration, labour, social security, tenancy, and prison law. To make use of their services, you can call or check their website for when they accept new cases.
Gratis Rettshjelp is the parent organisation of the above three organisations, as well as Jushjelpa i Nord-Norge (described below).
This service from the Advokatforeningen offers free legal counsel for up to 30 minutes in 33 cities throughout Norway. If you want to see if you have a legitimate legal claim or get some questions answered, you can get a free meeting with a private lawyer during opening hours. Once on the website, enter your address and it will show you their nearest office along with opening hours and instructions for scheduling an appointment.
NOAS is a membership organisation that focuses on asylum applications as well as citizenship, residency, and immigration issues throughout Norway. In some cases, they work with law firms to take asylum cases to court. Cases or inquiries cannot be submitted through their website. Instead, you can call or email them at the contact information listed at the bottom of the page.
SEIF has offices in seven cities throughout Norway and can help answer your basic legal questions and connect you with legal help depending on your needs. The best way to get in touch with them is to drop in during their opening hours Monday to Friday, or call or email them through their website.
If you live in Oslo, the municipality offers private lawyers who give free legal advice on a range of issues. These services are funded by the Norwegian government. There are two ways you can get help. The first is to schedule an appointment between 08.00 and 15.30 on weekdays. Go to their website and click on “Slik går du fram for å få hjelp” and then on “Ta kontakt for timebestilling”. The second is to go to their office at Storgata 19 during drop-in hours Mon-Thurs from 16.00 to 19.00. You can also call them directly using the number listed at the bottom of the page.
Caritas is an independent humanitarian foundation that works to improve people’s lives in Norway and globally. Its five info centres in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, and Drammen offer free legal help twice a week with lawyers who specialise in legal issues that immigrants face.
Northern Norway only
This organisation offers legal help for those living in northern Norway (Nordland, Troms and Finmark). Its offices in mid-Norway have recently closed. Advanced law students from the University of Tromsø help with all kinds of legal cases except criminal law. You can call them or submit your case directly online by clicking on “Send oss din sak” and entering your information and details of what you need help with.