Community legal centres want almost $50 million extra funding to help people with issues such as problem debt, workplace bullying, family violence and tenancy disputes.
Community Law Australia says about $48 million is needed from state and federal governments to address an "access to justice crisis", especially for people living outside or on the fringes of main cities.
It said more than half a million Aussies are missing out on legal help each year.
"To fix the resourcing crisis, $48 million is needed for current community law centres to meet demand.
"We are asking for funding to the whole legal assistance sector to be doubled," Community Law Australia spokeswoman Carolyn Bond said on Monday.
"Unless we act to close the gaps in areas where access to legal help is poor, ordinary Australians will continue to miss out," she said.
There are around 200 community legal centres nationwide that provide around half a million free legal services each year.