Independent legal services

Victoria Legal Aid

Victoria Legal Aid is an independent, statewide organisation that assists people with legal problems, especially Victorians who are financially or socially disadvantaged.

Operating 15 offices throughout the state, Legal Aid assists Victorians to find the most appropriate legal service.

Victoria Legal Aid provides a number of services, including:

  • free legal advice
  • duty lawyers at courts and tribunals
  • legal information in many languages
  • funding to help people run a case when they cannot otherwise afford to do so, this is means tested.

Victoria Legal Aid provides advice on criminal law, family law and some civil law matters. They run a phone advice service offering free general information about the law, in more than 22 languages other than English. You can contact the Legal Help service on 1300 792 387.

Community legal centres

Community legal centres (sometimes referred to as CLCs) are independent, not-for-profit community organisations that provide free legal services to members of the public, with a focus on disadvantaged people and those with special needs.

Generalist community legal centres assist people within their local area with a range of legal issues. Specialist community legal centres focus on groups of people with specific needs (such as women, people with disabilities, students) or on particular areas of law (such as consumer rights, environmental law, tenancy) throughout Victoria.

The peak body for community legal centres is the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria). The federation can assist you to find the most appropriate community legal centre. You can contact the federation on (03) 9652 1500. Information about community legal centres and legal information and resources can be found on their website.