Who we work with

Who we work with

We are committed to building strong, effective relationships with other organisations for the benefit of our clients. We work with state and national partners, lawyers in private practice, community legal centres, local communities and educational institutions.

National Legal Aid

As a member of National Legal Aid, we work with the other state and territory legal aid commissions to ensure that legal aid is delivered in the most effective and efficient way possible across Australia. Read more about our work with National Legal Aid.

Legal assistance forums

We collaborate with other legal sector organisations through legal assistance forums to improve access to services for socially and economically disadvantaged people in Victoria.

The Victorian Legal Assistance Forum allows participating organisations to plan and advocate for increased access to services and develop service delivery models that are responsive to community justice needs.

The Australian Legal Assistance Forum allows national organisations to address legal assistance issues in Australia co-operatively.

Lawyers in private practice

Our partnership with the private legal profession, including the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar, is essential for the provision of quality legal aid services.

Lawyers in private practice conduct about 70 per cent of legally aided cases, in the areas of criminal, family and civil law. This significant contribution helps us to provide greater coverage and access to justice services. Lawyers acting for a client with a grant of legal assistance are required to be a member of one of our Panels.

Lawyers in private practice also contribute as duty lawyers, providing help at court to people who do not have their own lawyer on the day of their hearing.

We support the ongoing professional development of lawyers in private practice through assisting them to undertake the Law Institute of Victoria’s Accredited Specialisation program and inviting them to attend our professional legal education activities.

Through our Trial Counsel Development Program, we provide training opportunities to participating Junior Counsel by partnering them with senior trial advocates in criminal trials.

Community legal centres

Community legal centres are independent community organisations that provide free advice, casework and legal education to their communities. These centres are an integral part of the justice sector.

There are currently 51 community legal centres operating throughout Victoria. Some are generalist centres that assist people with issues such as credit and debt, family law, victims of crime compensation and neighbourhood disputes, while others specialise in particular areas of law, such as tenancy, consumer, employment, human rights, environmental and immigration law.

We grant and administer funding for 40 centres and the Federation of Community Legal Centres through the Community Legal Centre Funding Program, ensuring that centres meet their service agreements. We are increasingly focusing on how we can support the professional development of the sector through joint training initiatives.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services

Our Reconciliation Action Plan renews our commitment to working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services provide legal assistance and community legal education and advocate for systemic changes that will benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service was established in the 1970s to meet the needs of Indigenous people, working to ensure that they enjoy their legal rights and have access to legal representation in courts. It is also actively involved in community education, research and advocacy around law reform and policy development.

Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria

Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria was established in 2002 to provide assistance to victims of family violence and sexual assault and to work with families and communities affected by violence.

The service provides legal advice, referrals, ongoing casework and court representation. It also engages in community legal education and community development activities, as well as policy and law reform directed towards systemic change.

Legal sector and government organisations

We work collaboratively with legal sector and government organisations to deliver timely and respectful access to the justice system; to help people resolve legal problems and protect rights. Some of the organisations we work with include:

Sector Innovation and Planning Committee 

The Sector Innovation and Planning Committee (SIPC) provides advice on legal assistance sector planning and innovation. It is a multidisciplinary advisory group formed under the Legal Aid Act 1978 (Vic). It replaces the Community Consultative Committee and forms an important part of our commitment to support disadvantaged Victorians. 

Find out more about the Sector Innovation and Planning Committee.

Community organisations

We recognise that clients often have a number of issues to resolve that are related to their legal problem. As part of our commitment to helping clients resolve their issues we assess and, when appropriate, refer them to other community services that can help them.

We build direct links with community organisations by hosting and participating in forums on issues of mutual concern and by collaborating on community education projects.

Educational institutions

We have established relationships with many educational institutions, including almost all the major universities in Victoria.

We provide opportunities for students to undertake placements within our organisation to gain practical experience, including hosting law, research, business and criminal justice administration students.

From time to time we partner with universities or research institutes to conduct research projects relevant to legal aid. We have also participated in external research projects related to the justice sector and legal services. Find out more about our research and analysis work.