Resources and contact information to organisations that provide free and low-cost legal help.
Finding a private lawyer
The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV)
Offers a free Find Your Lawyer referral service. Complete the referral form on their website and receive a letter referring you for a free 30 minute consultation with a lawyer. You can use this consultation to determine the nature of the legal issue, discuss available options and request an estimate of costs to proceed with the matter.
Free and low-cost legal services
Victoria Legal Aid
Provides free legal information, education and advice for all Victorians, focusing on people with low incomes and those experiencing disadvantage. They can also provide advice and represent people based on their financial situation and other individual circumstances. Victoria Legal Aid have offices throughout Victoria, including in many courts, some hospitals, prisons and detention centres. Its website is a good place to start to find out how to deal with your legal problem.
Community Legal Centres
They are independent community organisations that provide free legal services to people who face economic and social disadvantage and cannot afford a private lawyer. Each community legal centre has different eligibility guidelines for who they can help, what legal issues they can help with and how much help they can provide. The Federation of Community Legal Centres is the peak body for Victoria’s Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal Legal Services. To find your nearest centre visit the Federation of Community Legal Centres website.
The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS)
Provides legal aid services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria. The service operates in Melbourne and regional locations. Contact VALS for information about the services offered and eligibility guidelines.
Formerly named the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH), this organisation helps individuals access free legal help in some circumstances. For example, Justice Connect has services for people experiencing homelessness, self-represented litigants in the Federal Court, and charities and not-for-profits.
The Supreme Court is working with Justice Connect on a pilot for delivery of unbundled legal support for people seeking to bring a proceeding in the Judicial Review and Appeals list, without legal representation. If you would like to know more about the pilot, and whether you might qualify for legal assistance, please contact Justice connect on 1800 727 550 or via their website help.justiceconnect.org.au/vicsrs/ to apply.
Please take the survey regarding the Self representation service provided by Justice Connect https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SRLconsumer
In-court support services
Operates throughout Victoria, providing a unique, non-legal court support service, as well as information and referral services. Its volunteers can provide support and information about going to court, be a support person for you on the day of your court hearing , explain how the courts and legal systems operate and refer you to other community services that may be able to assist you.