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 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 allows national organisations to address legal assistance issues in Australia co-operatively.
The Gippsland Legal Assistance Forum facilitates coordinated legal service delivery and networks with a wide range of stakeholders to improve access to legal services across greater Gippsland.
Lawyers in private practice
Our partnership with the private legal profession, including the Law Institute of and the Victorian , 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 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 currently grant and administer funding to 43 CLCs, Djirra, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Federation of Community Legal through the Community Legal Services Program.
Read more about community legal centres.
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 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 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:
- Law Institute of
- Office of Public
- Commonwealth Director of Public
- Magistrates’ Court of
- County Court of
- Supreme Court of
- Department of
- Office of the Commonwealth
- Office of the Victorian .
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.
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.
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.
We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
Reviewed 22 April 2022