See a lawyer

See a lawyer

We have lawyers who give free legal advice on a range of matters to people who need it most.

Who can see a lawyer

Our main focus is on people who:

  • can’t afford a private lawyer
  • have an intellectual disability, an acquired brain injury or mental illness
  • are in a psychiatric in-patient unit
  • are experiencing or at risk of homelessness
  • are a child or young person going to the Children’s Court
  • can’t speak, read or write well in English
  • are Indigenous Australians
  • are at court for a family violence matter or are at risk of family violence
  • are in custody or facing a serious penalty.

A serious penalty is where there is a real risk that a person will:

The penalty can depend on your prior criminal record.

Legal problems we can help you with

We give free legal advice on a range of matters, including:

  • criminal matters, including some serious traffic offences
  • family breakdown matters
  • child protection
  • child support
  • family violence
  • discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Centrelink and social security law
  • debt recovery for people with debt
  • guardianship and administration matters at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • infringement fines – if you have special circumstances which have contributed to you getting infringement notices
  • matters before the Mental Health Tribunal
  • refugee and immigration matters
  • some tenancy matters for tenants only
  • Veterans’ Affairs matters
  • compensation claims for victims of crime.

Contact our Legal Help phoneline to find out if we can help you.

Legal problems we don’t give advice about

There are some things we don’t give legal advice about. They include:

How we can help

Depending on your circumstances, our lawyers may be able to:

  • give you free legal advice – in person, by video conference or over the phone
  • help you if you are at court without a lawyer
  • run your case, which may include representing you in court.

We may also be able to refer you to other services for help.

We do not provide legal advice by email or online.

Access to our services

If you need assistance accessing any of our services, please contact us.

If you would like an interpreter we can arrange this for you for free. See Get help in your own language.

We can also arrange Auslan interpreters and assistance via relay services if required.

Preparing to talk to a lawyer

To make the best use of the your time with a lawyer it helps to be prepared. Make sure you bring:

  • any documents relating to your legal problem, such as police statements, court papers, letters, fines, copies of emails or medical reports
  • a list of questions
  • your health care card
  • proof of your income.

It may also be useful for you to look at Find legal answers to get some basic information about your legal problem.