Victoria Legal Aid

Our pilot Equity and Diversity List for barristers and advocates

What is the Equity and Diversity List

Our pilot Equity and Diversity List will help lawyers find and brief diverse counsel for legally aided matters. It forms part of our Equitable Briefing Strategy. We developed the list following industry consultation.

Why did we create the list

We are one of Victoria’s largest providers of legal assistance services. This gives us the ability to drive change as we strive for fairness, diversity and inclusion.

Legally aided services should reflect the diversity of the Victorian community. This improves trust and access to justice.

A more diverse practice of the law is more likely to reflect the broader community. It is more likely to be sensitive and responsive to community needs and systemic and individual issues.

Equitable briefing policies have wide support in the legal sector.

The Law Council of Australia established its Equitable Briefing PolicyExternal Link in 2016. The intention was to:

  • drive cultural change within the legal profession
  • support the progression and retention of women barristers
  • and address the significant pay gap and underrepresentation of women in the superior courts.

Who can sign up to the list

This is an opt-in list for barristers and advocates who self-identify as:

  • a woman or gender diverse
  • culturally diverse
  • a person of colour
  • First Nations
  • living with disability.

The names of barristers who join the list will be published on our website. However, their diversity attributes will not be publicly identified unless explicit consent is provided.

Promoting participation in the Equity and Diversity List

Barristers on the list will be provided with a logo for inclusion on their email signature.

We will promote the list on our website to expand the known pool of women and diverse counsel and to assist those who make briefing decisions.

We will provide the list to our in-house lawyers, community legal centre staff and panel practitioners, to prioritise where possible when briefing legally aided matters.

We understand the challenges that impact the availability of counsel to undertake legal aid work. However, when there is a choice, we encourage all practitioners to consider the list when briefing legally aided matters. The list does not displace technical expertise.

How information will be used

Barristers’ diversity data will be used to provide insights into the diversity of barristers briefed on legally aided matters.

All data will be de-identified before it is published.

Sign up to the Equity and Diversity List

Collection notice

VLA is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal and health information.

See our Equitable Briefing Strategy collection notice for more information on how VLA will collect, use and disclose information obtained via this form.

How may we use your information?

Please include the URL (link) of your Victorian Bar profile. 

Are you interested in taking part in promotional events organised by VLA to showcase diverse members of the Bar?

Select as many as appropriate.

By submitting this form, I declare that the information I have provided is true and correct.

More information

Read more about our Equitable Briefing StrategyExternal Link .

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

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Reviewed 19 March 2024