This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

How VLA can help with mental health

How Victoria Legal Aid can help clients with mental health matters.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IHMA)

VLA's independent advocacy service can help people who are receiving compulsory mental health treatment to make decisions, and to have as say as possible about their assessment, treatment and recovery.

For more information see VLA Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)(opens in a new window)


VLA’s Legal Help gives free information by phone about the law and how VLA can help. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8 am–6 pm. Call Legal Help on 1300 792 387.

The level of help depends on the kind of matter and on whether the caller is a priority client.

Legal Help services include:

  • a triage service—clients are referred to the most appropriate service
  • general legal information—unless the matter is out of scope
  • targeted referrals both within and outside VLA
  • advice about legal procedure—priority clients in some areas of law
  • legal advice by phone—priority clients in some areas of law.

For more information about the kinds of matters where priority clients can get phone advice see Legal Help phone advice(opens in a new window).

Out of scope matters

For information about matters that are not covered by the Legal Help service see VLA Legal Help(opens in a new window).

Language line

This service is provided in different languages.

See Get help in your own language(opens in a new window).

VLA produces a range of legal information for the public. For information see 'VLA resources for clients' under this topic.

Legal Help Online provides online information, referral and booking tool used by staff at Victoria Legal Aid and community legal centres to find legal services in Victoria. The site:

  • helps lawyers to send out emails to clients with targeted information to help with their legal matter
  • matches clients with services based on their legal need, location and eligibility for services, and
  • is an appointment management system, that enables direct bookings to be made and SMS reminders to be sent.

See Legal Help Online (formerly Orbit)(opens in a new window).

To locate VLA services see Legal Help Online—Services

To access the email templates, see Legal Help Online—Info email templates (no replies)(opens in a new window).

Public law library

Our law library is the only specialist law library in Victoria open to the public. It has a wide range of resources in print and electronic forms, covering a variety of legal topics. The library is open Monday to Friday, 9.00 am–5.00 pm.

Staff can also search the library catalogue to access all books, journals, videos, reports and reference material held by the library, and networked CD-ROM services.

See VLA library catalogue(opens in a new window).

See also Library and research(opens in a new window).

The VLA Handbook for lawyers sets out how to apply for a grant of legal assistance and the guidelines and conditions of receiving a grant.


For a collection of grants resources and training materials see LawHub topic Grants of legal assistance.