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” refers to free or low-cost legal services that help people resolve their legal problems. In Victoria, this includes services such as:

legal information;

legal advice;

ongoing legal help;

legal representation (e.g. in court).

Who provides legal aid?

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

Victoria Legal Aid;

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

specialist community legal centres that focus on particular legal areas (e.g. the Mental Health Legal Centre, Environmental Justice Australia);

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

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

a range of other organisations.

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