Duty lawyers help people who are attending a court or tribunal hearing and who require assistance on the day. This service is free and can cover:
- child protection
- youth crime
- adult summary crime
- intervention orders
- family matters
- some civil matters, such as Mental Health Tribunal hearings.
Our duty lawyer service is provided by VIctoria Legal Aid and Fitzroy Legal Service and First Nations people have the option to engage the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
For more information talk to:
- Victoria Legal Aid (External link): 1300 792 387. (Mon to Fri: 8:45am to 5:15pm)
- Fitzroy Legal Service (External link): 9419 3744 (or toll free 1800 064 865)
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (External link): (03) 9418 5999 ( toll free 1800 064 865)
Getting a lawyer on the day
If you don't have a lawyer on the day of your hearing, come to the NJC's court at 9am and a duty lawyer will assess your needs and options as soon as possible.
Victoria Legal Aid Translated Assistance (External link)
Fitzroy Legal Services Translated Assistance (External link)
Custody - finding a lawyer when in custody
Police stations provide people in custody with contact details for legal assistance.
Fitzroy Legal Service (External link) can also help. Call 0413 403 953 to speak to a criminal lawyer.
Pro Bono (free) services
People experiencing hardship and social disadvantage can receive pro bono (free) legal services. Here are options and steps to take:
- Victoria Legal Aid (External link), is the main provider of government-funded legal assistance.
- If VLA can't help, contact the Federation of Community Legal Centres (External link). They assist people who can't get assistance from VLA
- If a Community Legal Centre can't help, contact Justice Connect (External link) to find a private law firms that provides pro bono services.
- Contact the VicBar Pro Bono Scheme (External link) for information and eligibility criteria for free legal representation services.
Private legal representation
Visit the Law Institute of Victoria (External link) for information and contact details for private legal representation services.
Victoria Legal Aid is the go-to source of a wealth of information about the law, your rights, and the legal process.
- Victoria Legal Aid: find legal answers (External link): Straight-forward and authoritative information