We offer legal advice and representation services across our 'Night Service' and 'Day Practice'

The difference between 'legal advice' and 'legal representation

Legal advice means advice and information about the law that applies to your particular case or situation, including discussion of your options and priorities, and recommendations about how best to achieve your goal.  We can also draft a letter for you, but it will be written under your own name. In some circumstances, we can draft court or tribunal documents for you; again, they will be written under your name. You remain responsible for your case. Our assistance ends once you leave the building (though you can return for further advice).

Legal representation means providing legal advice and we become ‘your lawyer’ for your case. We become responsible for filing documents, corresponding with the other party and going to court or tribunal with you (or arranging for a barrister to appear for you) to put forward your case.

The difference between 'Night Service' and 'Day Practice'

We have a Night Service that provides free legal advice on a range of legal issues.  This is staffed mainly by volunteers under the supervision of FLS staff lawyers. 

We also have a Day Practice which provides mostly casework and legal representation in a range of specialist areas. There is an information barrier between the Night Service and Day Practice which means that staff of the Night Service cannot access confidential information from the Day Practice and vice versa. 

The Information Barrier

We provide legal advice and legal representation in the following ways

Court based services

We may be able to help you on the day of court.

Prison advice line

We offer legal advice and information for prisoners and their families

Legal support programs

Family Violence Health Justice Partnerships

Drug Outreach Lawyer program

Criminal Defence practice

Migrant Employment Law Clinic

Criminal Defence Practice

and more

Evening legal advice service

We can provide legal advice via a face to face or telephone appointment.

Client charter

We are committed to providing a safe and stress-free environment for all clients, visitors, staff and volunteers

When using our service, you have the right to:

Be treated with respect and courtesy at all times, have your right to confidentiality respected at all times, make a complaint against any FLS staff or volunteer if you believe that you have not been treated appropriately, a referral when we are not able to assist, and access to an interpreter if required. 

When using our service, we expect you to:

Treat our staff and volunteers with respect and courtesy at all times, not swear at, abuse or threaten staff, volunteers or other clients, not to damage our property, not to use alcohol or illegal drugs whilst on our premises, and not enter the work or office areas unless accompanied by a staff member or volunteer.

We reserve the right to refuse to provide assistance to any client who does not comply with this Charter. You may be asked to leave our premises and return at another time. We may take steps to make sure that you leave when asked to do so. We may withdraw our service to you in the future.

Complaints Policy and Form 

If you want to make a complaint, you may do so to the relevant Principal Lawyer of the service the complaint relates to. If the complaint is about: 
  • a staff member (other than the Principal Lawyer), the complaint will normally be dealt with by the relevant Principal Lawyer;  
  • a Principal Lawyer, the complaint will normally be dealt with by the CEO; or; 
  • the Chief Executive Officer, the complaint will normally be dealt with by the Board. 

Upon request, a staff member of FLS will provide you with our complaint form. Written complaints may be sent to PO Box 297, Fitzroy 3065 or via email to enquiries@fls.org.au. Administration staff will be responsible for receiving this correspondence and directing it to the appropriate person.