LIV Legal Assistance Service

The Law Institute of Victoria Legal Assistance Service (LIVLAS) is a referral service that facilitates pro bono legal referrals, linking individuals experiencing disadvantage and not-for profit organisations who support them with pro bono lawyers in Victoria.

It provides access to justice to those members of the community who:

  • Have meritorious legal problems
  • Do not have sufficient funds to retain a solicitor
  • Cannot obtain appropriate legal assistance from another service provider, for example, a Community Legal Centre or Victoria Legal Aid

LIVLAS Membership Registration Form (pdf) for existing and new LIVLAS members

The aim

  • To assist solicitors who perform pro bono for the Service by providing a dedicated assessment and referral service
  • To make pro bono services more accessible for the public

How it works

  • Institute members can volunteer individually or as a firm, by appointing a nominee. Simply fill in a volunteer application form (pdf) and email it to legal@justiceconnect.org.au or call (03) 8636 4400
  • The Service screens client enquires and matches solicitors with successful applicant
  • Participating solicitors are given discretion to accept or decline referrals
  • Solicitors usually undertake work at no cost to the client. Solicitors can take advantage of a costs order against other parties in litigious matters
  • There are no onerous reporting requirements for solicitors accepting referrals from the Service. We do ask participants to provide us with an indication of the final outcome and how much time they spent on a matter
  • The Service is administered by Justice Connect

Benefits to LIV members

The service

  • Assists solicitors to manage pro bono work more efficiently by screening matters and merits testing applicants prior to referral
  • Gives participating solicitors discretion as to when and what matters they accept from the Service
  • Spreads the pro bono work load among the Service’s volunteers
  • Encourages applicants to approach the Service for assistance rather than approaching solicitors personally, freeing solicitors to do pro bono work rather than field enquiries
  • Accepts referrals from solicitors who find themselves unable to take on or continue to act in a particular pro bono matter.
  • Raises the public profile of the profession in a very positive manner
  • Collects statistical information verifying the profession’s previously unrecognised contribution to access to justice

For more information, please see the Justice Connect website.

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