How to get legal help
Registrars cannot provide legal advice, recommend a lawyer or give an indication about the potential outcome of your matter. See The Court Registry for information about what a registrar can and cannot do.
Support services are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons with legal problems and court matters. See Support Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons for more information.
The information below provides a general overview about where you can find legal help. The listing of organisations below is not an endorsement of their product or service.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) provides free legal information, education and advice for children and people with low incomes and / or experiencing disadvantage. However, they do not give legal advice on all matters. Find out if you are eligible for VLA.
VLA have useful resources including a:
- find legal answers section with information about the law and who to contact for help
- legal help service, where you can speak to someone in English or another language
- public law library to access legislation, case law and other legal materials.
See the VLA website for more information.
Youthlaw is Victoria’s state-wide free community legal centre for young people under 25 years of age.
Youthlaw is based in Carlton and works closely with Frontyard Youth Services.
Their services and programs include:
- Legal advice by phone and email
- Drop in clinic at Frontyard
- Outreach services via frontline youth services including 5 Headspace centres and 5 youth centres.
- Family Violence Program including support at Frontyard and duty lawyer service at Melbourne’s Children’s Court
- Fines clinic staffed by trained later year law students and supervised by a lawyer
- Legal Education program
- Volunteer program.
See the Youth Law website for more information.
Lawstuff (Youth Law Australia)
Lawstuff is a community legal service that is dedicated to helping children and young people in Australia and their supporters to find a legal solution to their problems.
Previously named the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre and known as Lawstuff, they are Australia’s only national, technology-based community legal service.
Youth Law Australia provide free and confidential legal advice, assistance and referrals to young people and their advocates. Anyone under 25 (and their advocate) can request and receive free and confidential legal advice through their innovative online service that is available 24/7.
See the Lawstuff for more information.
Community legal centres
Community legal centres provide free legal advice for people with economic and social disadvantage. Each community legal centre has different eligibility guidelines including:
- who they can help
- what legal issues they can help with
- how much help they can provide.
There are over 50 community legal centres across Victoria.
See the Federation of Community Legal Services website for more information.
Justice Connect provides free legal advice and assistance for people experiencing disadvantage. Sometimes, they can make referrals to private lawyers who can give advice for free – called pro bono.
See the Justice Connect website for more information.
Law Institute of Victoria
The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) offers an online and telephone legal referral service. All law firms in the legal referral service give a free 30-minute enquiry interview. This can help you determine the nature of the legal issue, available options and estimated costs to proceed.
See the LIV website for more information about the referral service.
Victoria Law Foundation
The Victoria Law Foundation (VLF) is a not-for-profit, statutory body that focuses on helping Victorians understand the law and their legal system.
See the VLF website for more information.