VIctoria Legal Aid and Fitzroy Legal Service are the main providers the duty lawyer service at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre.
- Victoria Legal Aid : 1300 792 387. (Mon to Fri: 8:45am to 5:15pm)
- Fitzroy Legal Service : 9419 3744 (or toll free 1800 064 865)
Organising legal help on the day of your hearing
If you don't have a lawyer on the day of your hearing, arrive at 9am and our Registrars will organise a duty lawyer to assess your needs as soon as possible.
After hours legal clinics
- Richmond Outreach legal advice clinic at the North Richmond Community Health Centre fortnightly on a Tuesday evening.
Bookings is all clinics essential. Contact FLS .
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Assistance
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service : (03) 9418 5999 ( toll free 1800 064 865)
Finding lawyer when in custody
- Police stations provide people in custody with contact details for legal assistance
- Fitzroy Legal Service – 0413 403 953 to speak to a criminal lawyer
Grant of Legal Assistance
If you have a legal problem and cannot afford a lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) maybe able to pay for a lawyer to help you. This is called a ‘grant of legal assistance’.
VLA guidelines set out the rules about when it will give a grant of legal assistance, and you can only get a grant of legal assistance if your legal problem and your financial circumstances meet VLA's guidelines.
To find out if you meet the guidelines visit VLA .
Find a private lawyer
- Visit the Law Institute of Victoria for information and contact details to obtain your own lawyer.
- Victoria Legal Aid translated assistance click here. (External link)
- Fitzroy Legal Services translated assistance click here (External link) .
Pro Bono (free) services
There are a number of ways for people experiencing hardship and social disadvantage to get pro bono (free) legal services. Here are options and steps to take
- Contact Victoria Legal Aid, the main source of government-funded legal assistance.
- If VLA can't help, contact the Federation of Community Legal Centres . Community Legal Centres provide legal advice to people who are unable to obtain assistance from VLA (either because VLA does not offer legal assistance for something the person needs, or because the person does not qualify for VLA assistance).
- If a Community Legal Centre can't help, contact Justice Connect to find a private law firms that provides pro bono services.
- The VicBar Pro Bono Scheme provides free legal assistance to people who require a barrister and cannot afford to pay full fees, unable to obtain legal assistance from other sources, have been refused legal aid or no decision has been made in relation to the application.
There are many ways to get free legal information for non-lawyers to use, whether they opt to self-represent or talk to a lawyer.
- Everyday Law – Provides easy-to-understand legal information on legal topics including family law, wills, estates and powers of attorney, housing and neighbours, credit and debt, traffic issues, crime and fines. And includes information about legal costs, mediation, representing yourself and preparing for court.
- The Law Handbook (VIC) Online – extensive guide to all community law matters in Victoria, featuring legislation and case indexes that are cross-referenced with the latest law changes and updates.
- Victoria Law Foundation – a not-for-profit website which produces a range of publications to help Victorians understand the law and their legal system.
- Not-for-profit Law – an information hub produced by Justice Connect that contains resources for not-for-profit organisations. For example, a guide to auspicing, guides to tax exemptions and other key governance issues.
Legal document templates
Some law firms offer legal document templates you can buy online. Always check the terms and conditions of sale to ensure there’s no further obligation to the firm.