Managing the quality of our services

Managing the quality of our services

We are committed to delivering high quality, client-centred services throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Some of our services are delivered by our staff and some are delivered by community legal centres funded by us or private lawyers whom we pay to do this work.

To maintain a high standard and ensure quality for all our work, our Legal Practice directorate has responsibilities in five key areas.

Practice standards

All lawyers doing legal aid work must comply with practice standards for:

  • casework
  • duty lawyer services
  • legal advice.

We are committed to continuous review and improvement of practice standards to ensure they remain current, relevant and consistent.

Read about our practice standards.

Panel practitioners

Private practitioners who wish to act for clients with a grant of legal assistance must be a member of a Victoria Legal Aid panel appointed under section 29A or 30 of the Legal Aid Act 1978. We develop and administer policies, procedures and guidelines for the operation of these panels, including:

  • application and acceptance
  • performance monitoring and reappointment
  • managing panel membership.

Read more about our work with panel practitioners.

Training, development and support

We provide training, development and support for our lawyers (and other client-facing staff where appropriate) through:

  • professional support lawyers
  • ongoing professional legal education
  • specialist accreditation support, including study groups and materials.

Some training, development and support activities are extended to community legal centres or panel practitioners.

Administration of the legal aid fund

As a requirement of the Legal Aid Act, we are responsible for administering the Legal Aid Fund in a fair, efficient and economic manner. We administer, monitor and review:

  • grants of legal assistance
  • means test indicators and eligibility guidelines
  • allocation of lawyers
  • costs recovery
  • independent review of funding decisions.

Complaints and investigations

We investigate and respond to:

  • complaints regarding the conduct of panel practitioners
  • offences under the Legal Aid Act
  • obligations and offences under other legislation that applies to our work
  • breaches of our practice standards
  • complaints against Victoria Legal Aid staff.

We aim to resolve any complaints quickly, fairly and transparently. See Complaints for more information.