A community legal centre (CLC) is the Australian term for an independent not-for-profit organisation providing legal aid services, that is, provision of assistance to people who are unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. They provide legal advice and traditional casework for free, primarily funded by federal, state and local government. Working with clients who are mostly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Australian society, they also work with other agencies to address related problems, including financial, social and health issues. Their functions may include campaigning for law reform and developing community education programs.
The peak body is Community Legal Centres Australia. CLCs are the equivalent of law centres in the UK and community law centres in New Zealand.
There are as of 2020 eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS), with similar characteristics to CLCs.
There are also eight Legal Aid Commissions (LACs), which are state and territory government agencies, such as Victoria Legal Aid, which administers Commonwealth and state government funding of CLCs.
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