What is legal aid?


In Victoria, “legal aid” refers to cost free legal information, legal advice and legal representation provided by Victoria Legal Aid, community legal centres, and some private firms to people who cannot afford private legal representation. Free legal information is available to everyone in Victoria.

“Legal aid” generally refers to the services that Victoria Legal Aid and other legal aid commissions around Australia provide to help people resolve their legal problems. In Victoria, this includes services such as:

legal information;

legal advice; and

ongoing legal help and representation.

Legal aid service providers

The agencies that provide legal aid services can be grouped as follows:

Victoria Legal Aid;

local community legal centres (e.g. Fitzroy Legal Service);

specialist community legal centres for particular legal areas (e.g. Mental Health Legal Service, Environmental Justice Australia);

specialist community legal centres for particular groups (e.g. the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Women’s Legal Service, Youthlaw); and

private firms offering free advice and assistance (through grants of legal assistance or by referral from Justice Connect or the Law Institute of Victoria).

A list of legal services can be found in Legal services that can help.