Legal profession

In Victoria, legal professionals work across many organisations and bodies, as well as providing advice and appearing in court.

Three people in robes standing in front of a building.



If you have a legal problem that you need help with, you will generally first seek advice from a solicitor.

Solicitors advise clients on legal matters, prepare legal documents and brief barristers about the details of their clients’ claims so that a barrister can represent their client

in court.

Some solicitors represent clients in the Magistrates’ Court or help barristers represent clients in higher courts. A very small number of solicitors act as advocates in the higher courts.

Solicitors can work for themselves, private law firms or for other organisations such as government, community legal centres or Victoria Legal Aid.


Barristers are lawyers who specialise in representing clients in court. Generally,

a client will first seek advice from a solicitor who then briefs a barrister if the matter is to go to court or if specialist advice is required.

The most skilled barristers are recognised by the titles Queen’s Counsel (QC) or Senior Counsel (SC). QCs and SCs are also known as silks.

How do I find a lawyer?

Finding the right legal service can be difficult.

Victoria Legal Aid, the Federation of Community Legal Centres and the Law Institute of Victoria can all assist you in finding the right legal or related service for your needs.

For more information on legal services in Victoria, see the Law help guide, available online at

Professional associations

Solicitors and barristers have their own professional associations.

Law Institute of Victoria

The Law Institute of Victoria is the state’s peak body for lawyers. The Law Institute of Victoria’s purpose is to be a leader and

innovator of the legal profession, to support and inform members, and to raise the profile and standing of the legal profession.

The Law Institute of Victoria’s Find Your Lawyer Referral Service assists the public to find a law firm to help them with their legal issue.

You can visit or call (03) 9607 9550.

Victorian Bar

The Victorian Bar is the professional association for barristers. Barristers are specialist advocates who advise and represent litigants in courts, tribunals, mediations and arbitrations.

Finding a barrister

Victorian barristers’ details can be found on the Victorian Bar website.

A barristers’ clerk acts like an agent for barristers. They are familiar with the skills, expertise, experience and availability of the barristers on their list, and can liaise with solicitors and clients to identify the best person to be the barrister in each case.

Barristers can also be briefed directly for certain matters via www.barristerconnect.

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