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 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.
Justice Connect, formerly Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH), 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.
In-court support services
Court Network 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.