VCAT cannot provide legal advice but there are service providers who can give legal advice or information.
Some services are free. You can also seek the help of a private lawyer, which may require you to pay a fee.
Free or low-cost services
The following services offer free or low cost legal advice or support.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid provides free legal information and education for all Victorians. They can also provide advice and legal representation based on their financial situation and other individual circumstances.
They have offices throughout Victoria and provide duty lawyer services at our main venue on 55 King Street, Melbourne.
Call their Legal Help phone service on 1300 792 387 to talk to someone in English or another language. For more information, go to the Victoria Legal Aid website
Duty lawyers provide free and confidential legal advice to VCAT customers who are registered with Centrelink, low income earners or under 18 years of age.
The duty lawyer can sometimes assist in these types of cases:
- renting a home – tenants only
- guardianship and administration
- powers of attorney
- goods and services
- review and regulation – Working with Children cases
- equal opportunity
- Disability Act
- health and privacy
- mental health.
They can also provide advice about VCAT procedures for cases under review and regulation and owners corporation.
The duty lawyer is located at VCAT on 55 King Street, Melbourne and is available from 9.15 am to 3.30 pm each week day.
Community legal centres
Community legal centres offer free legal help, particularly for people experiencing financial difficulties or those at a social disadvantage.
To find your nearest community legal centre, call 03 9652 1500 or go the Federation of Community Legal Centres website
Justice Connect provides free legal services to people experiencing disadvantage and develops programs to meet the legal needs of homeless people, seniors, not-for-profit organisations and self-represented individuals.
Call 8636 4400 or go to the Justice Connect website.
Court Network has volunteers who provide information, support and refer people to other services. They do not provide legal advice.
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander you may be able to access legal advice through the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS). Call 1800 064 865 and ask for their civil team.
Domestic Building Legal Service
Justice Connect's DBLS provides advice and assistance to eligible home owners whose domestic building disputes were not resolved at DBDRV. It can assist home owners who do not have access to legal help and advice from other sources. Visit the Domestic Building Legal Service website for assistance.
Find a private lawyer
A private lawyer can help explain your legal problem and help you resolve it.
The Law Institute of Victoria can refer you to a lawyer that deals with your particular issue. These lawyers offer a free 30-minute consultation over the phone before they start charging a fee for their services. To get a legal referral from the Law Institute of Victoria, call their telephone referral service on 03 9607 9550 or check their directory
Alternatively, you can find a lawyer yourself. Find a barrister on the Victorian Bar website