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What is a community legal centre?

Community legal centres are independent community organisations that provide free legal services to the public.

Community legal centres provide free legal advice, information and representation to more than 100,000 Victorians each year.

Our clients are those who face economic, social or cultural disadvantage and whose life circumstances are often severely affected by their legal problem. Our clients are often unable to access other legal services. We are experts in working with these clients.

Community legal centres receive funds and resources from a variety of sources including state, federal and local governments, philanthropic foundations, pro bono contributions and donations. Centres also harness the energy and expertise of hundreds of volunteers across Victoria.

Why 'Community'?

Community legal centres provide effective and creative solutions to legal problems based on their experience within their local communities. It is our community relationship that distinguishes us from other legal providers and enables us to respond effectively to the needs of our communities as they arise and change.

Community legal centres integrate assistance for individual clients with community legal education, community development and law reform projects that are based on client need and preventative in outcome.

Community legal centres are committed to collaboration with government, legal aid, the private legal profession and community partners to ensure the best outcomes for our clients and the justice system in Australia.

The day to day work of community legal centres reflects a 35 year commitment to social justice, human rights, equity, democracy and community participation.

Further information

To read more about the history, philosophy, and practice of community legal centres, see our CLC Reading Guide (PDF).

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