The practice standards

The practice standards

Victoria Legal Aid implemented the practice standards in 2014, which provide greater clarity and transparency about our expectations for the quality of work delivered to vulnerable clients. The practice standards support panel practitioners to manage their clients with professionalism and care throughout a legally aided matter. They are based on legal practice professional standards but are contextualised for legally aided matters to reflect the specific vulnerabilities of our client groups. The practice standards are grouped into four key areas that are essential to support quality representation.

The four key areas of practice standards

General practice standards

These cover adherence to professional obligations, responsibilities as a legal aid practitioner, responsibilities to the client, briefing counsel and file management.

Standards for specific areas of law

These set out the standards that are specific to dealing with criminal law, family law (including child protection) and family violence/personal safety intervention order matters. They also set out the expected standards for independent children’s lawyers or for when a matter is referred to dispute resolution.

Standards for specific client characteristics

These set out the standards that are relevant to specific types of client including child clients generally, child clients in criminal and family law matters, clients in custody, clients with a mental illness or disability, and clients from a culturally and linguistically diverse or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

Firm practice standards

These set out the standards required of the firm itself, and looks at how the policies and practices of the firm support the provision of high quality legal services

Download the practice standards

See Section 29A panels conditions to download the practice standards and other schedules of the panel deed.