If you're in a situation where you or a friend needs to know more about the law - whether you or a friend are in trouble with the police or you just want to know more about your rights in general - there are many organisations that can provide you with advice and assistance on a wide range of legal issues.
All legal advice is given confidentially. This means that whatever you say will not be told to anyone else, including the police and your parents, without your permission.
The following organisations can provide you with free and confidential legal advice.
Youthlaw (new window) is Victoria's first community legal centre that specialises in providing legal advice for young people. It provides legal advice and casework services to people under the age of 25. It's involved in education programs that can inform you about your legal rights. The Youthlaw site considers various legal issues relevant to young people and offers links to further information on those issues, including school, police mistreatment of young people, and employment.
Victoria Legal Aid's Youth issues page (new window) can also give you information about lots of topics, including becoming independent, buying things, dealing with security guards and public transport inspectors, the police and where to find legal help.
Various Community Legal Centres (CLCs) (new window) operate throughout Victoria, in both metropolitan Melbourne and rural and regional Victoria areas.
The Disability Discrimination Legal Service (new window) assists people with disabilities by providing advice, information and referrals to people with problems relating to discrimination because of disability. They also offer casework assistance to certain individuals.
The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (new window) is a community-based co-operative providing legal services and information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The main office is based in Melbourne and there are six regional offices in Bairnsdale, Heywood, Mildura, Morwell, Shepparton and Swan Hill. A series of fact sheets and publications are available from their site, and a comprehensive list of links is also provided.
Lawstuff (new window) provides advice on legal rights from state to state. The Victorian Lawstuff offers you information about issues including alcohol, marriage, mobile phones, renting, sexual assault and employment.
Federation of Community Legal Centres - Community Legal Centres in Victoria
An interactive map with contact details for CLCs throughout the metropolitan Melbourne area.
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS)
Providing information and assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Victoria.
Heaps of information about young people and the law.
Victoria Legal Aid
Dedicated to providing legal aid to anyone in the community who needs it, in an efficient and affordable way.
Disability Discrimination Legal Service
Assisting people with disabilities with issues arising from discrimination.
Department of Justice: Indigenous Victorians
Provides information about the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement - a partnership agreement between the Victorian Government and the Koori community of Victoria.
National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC)
Provides a list of community legal centres that specialise in different legal areas.
Lawstuff - Law Topics ( Victoria)
Lawstuff discusses a heap of legal issues from being sued to mobile phones. This is a link to the 'Law Topics in Victoria' page.
Victoria Law Foundation
The Victoria Law Foundation is an independent, public benefit organisation making law accessible, with a range of free and low cost publications.