If you have a legal problem and you're unable to resolve it outside of the court, it's best to seek legal advice.
People commence or continue proceedings without legal representation often because they feel they can't afford it. If this applies to you there are free or low-cost legal services that may be able to offer initial legal help or advice.
The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) offers a legal referral service to members of the community who cannot afford legal representation. A litigant can complete a referral form for a free 30 minute consultation with a solicitor. To obtain a referral form, or to find out more about the LIV's legal referral service:
- visit the Law Institute's referral page, and follow the prompts
- phone 03 9607 9550, or
- contact the LIV via email.
Find out more at the Law Institute of Victoria.
We encourage self-represented litigants seeking free legal advice to visit the Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) website or contact the VLA helpline on 1300 792 387. The VLA helpline gives advice on a range of civil and criminal issues.
Community legal centres are independent community organisations that provide free legal services. There are two types of community legal centres:
- Generalist community legal centres provide services on a range of legal issues to people who live locally. There are generalist community legal centres in metropolitan Melbourne and throughout rural and regional Victoria who may be able to assist with your legal issues
- Specialist community legal centres help with particular areas of law (for example, tenancy, consumer, employment, welfare, human rights, environmental issues or immigration law), or who assist specific groups of people such as young people, women, or people with mental illness or disabilities.
Find a community legal centre near you.
Justice Connect (formerly PILCH) coordinates a number of pro bono schemes in Victoria and helps people access pro bono assistance. 'Pro bono' means free of charge. Justice Connect may be able to help you find pro bono legal assistance if:
- your matter has merit (a good chance of success)
- you are ineligible for legal aid
- you meet a means test, and
- your matter has public interest.
Find out more information about getting pro bono help by visiting Justice Connect.
Everyday-Law is an online resource that provides easy to understand legal information from more than 150 organisations. It helps people:
- answer a legal question
- search for free or low-cost legal help, and
- learn more about the legal system.
Find out more at Everyday-Law