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Legal services

First Step Legal (FSL) is a Community Legal Centre providing pro bono legal advice and representation to the most marginalised in our community, operating from within a healthcare setting. This is known as a Health Justice Partnership.

FSL scaffolds support around clients struggling with mental health and addiction, by achieving legal and court outcomes supportive of their continued recovery and rehabilitation in the community. FSL deliver their clients the benefit of co-location, clear and simple referral pathways, and truly integrated case management.

It is our experience that the most vulnerable clients often experience multiple legal problems simultaneously. Our legal team has a broad skill set meaning we can help clients with criminal law matters, family violence and family law matters, infringements, tenancy issues and VOCAT applications. This more holistic legal support aims to reduce clients’ risk factors.

Visit our First Step Legal page to find out more about our unique model.

Who are FSL services for?

FSL services help clients of First Step, Windana Therapeutic Community, Star Health Family Violence Program and The St Kilda Road Clinic of Alfred Health.

To qualify for ongoing legal support and representation, FSL requires that clients commit to addressing the causes of their contact with the justice system. This typically involves engagement in treatment with a health partner to address mental health, addiction or violent behaviour.

How to access FSL services?

First Step patients and patients of our health partners, Windana Therapeutic Community, St Kilda Road Clinic and Star Health Family Violence department can speak to their clinician about accessing FSL services.

Where FSL does not have the resources to directly handle the matter ourselves, we make referrals to practitioners who are experienced in the relevant area of law. Our referrals are carefully considered, and the outcomes are reported back to us by the practitioners.