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 : 1300 792 387. (Mon to Fri: 8:45am to 5:15pm)
- Fitzroy Legal Service : 9419 3744 (or toll free 1800 064 865)
- Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service : (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.
Custody - finding a lawyer when in custody
Police stations provide people in custody with contact details for legal assistance.
Fitzroy Legal Service can also help. Call 0413 403 953 to speak to a criminal lawyer.
Legal clinics for free advice
Fitzroy Legal Service runs a free legal advice clinic . Bookings are essential.
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 , is the main provider of government-funded legal assistance.
- If VLA can't help, contact the Federation of Community Legal Centres . They assist people who can't get assistance from VLA
- If a Community Legal Centre can't help, contact Justice Connect to find a private law firms that provides pro bono services.
- Contact the VicBar Pro Bono Scheme for information and eligibility criteria for free legal representation services.
Private legal representation
Visit the Law Institute of Victoria 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 : Straight-forward and authoritative information