Are Community Legal Centres the same as legal aid?
Community Legal Centres are different from Victoria Legal Aid – but we work closely together.
Victoria Legal Aid is a Victorian Government statutory authority established by legislation. Victoria Legal Aid plays a crucial role in providing free advice and representation for people dealing with certain legal matters when they meet the Legal Aid eligibility criteria.
Separately, Community Legal Centres have
grown out of needs identified in communities
and have evolved through grassroots support. Each Community Legal Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that is separate from government. We provide services that respond to the needs of our specific communities. Community Legal Centres can be place-based, providing services across a range of legal issues to a geographic community; or specialist, focusing on specific areas of law (such as tenancy, consumer action or employment) or cohorts of people (such as women, young people, people with disability
or asylum seekers). In Victoria, this includes two specialist Aboriginal Legal Services.
Community Legal Centres and Victoria Legal Aid have a close relationship and make referrals to each other to ensure that you receive legal services from the organisation best placed to help you.