Legal Aid Schemes

The Legal Aid Agency has more information about means testing and how to work out who qualifies for civil legal aid. Phone around different firms and ask some questions about how they charge. Other firms will do particular bits of work for a set amount – often called fixed fee work or ‘pay as you go’. Some firms will offer a first appointment, for a fixed fee. Some firms might give you a very short initial appointment for free – say for 20 minutes or half an hour. If you then want the solicitor to do more work for you, many firms will expect you to pay a chunk of money up front – often called money on account.

Subject to paragraph 5 below, civil legal aid shall not… Help with the costs of legal advice and representation in court if you can’t afford it. It’s possible to transfer lawyers if you receive legal aid. However, the Scottish Legal Aid Board will consider whether it’s reasonable in the circumstances to allow that transfer to take place.

In providing you with the legal advice you need, we strive to act only in your interests, ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your case. Protecting your legal rights is challenging when dealing with Mental Health issues. Our Find A Solicitor tool allows you to search for accredited specialists in particular fields. However, some accredited specialists will not do legal aid work.

You want to go to mediation to help sort out problems with your ex such as arrangements for your children, or your finances when you separate. In this guide we use the word ‘ex’ to mean your ex-husband, ex-wife, ex- civil partner or ex-partner. You might already have separated from them or you might be separating from them now.

Another way to see if a firm of solicitors is well run and gives good client care is to see if it has been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark – Lexcel. If a firm has this, it should tell you by advertising it on its website and in its offices. If you can’t get legal aid you will either need find the money to pay for your legal costs or you will need to handle the problem yourself.

Be prepared – the more you prepare before you meet your solicitor, the more you’ll get out of it. Make a list of the main things you need to tell them or the questions you have. Get together any paperwork that might be useful and put it in order. This will make it quicker and easier for the solicitor to understand your problem and give you helpful advice. For more helpful tips on seeing a solicitor take a look at How to prepare for seeing a solicitor or adviser.

It helps the solicitor if the client has any letters or documents that explain more about the background of the legal problem. These could be letters from the other party in the legal action, documents prepared on their behalf by an advice agency, or claims and orders issued by the court. The solicitor considers the merits of the case before making an application to the Legal Aid Agency on behalf of their client.

For certain types of criminal case, including any advice provided at a police station, legal aid is automatically available for those financially eligible. Despite the savage cuts, Legal Aid is still available for some matters. We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency which enables us to provide free legal advice and assistance in some immigration and housing cases if you have a low income.

A housing solicitor can help with a homelessness application or request to transfer to a new social tenancy. CrowdfundingCrowdfunding has become a popular way for people to gain financial support for legal issues. A number of online platforms specialise in crowdfunding, where friends, family and members of the public can help you raise funds.

It makes accessing legal representation and advice from a solicitor more affordable for those who need it. A local Law Centre may be able to provide free legal advice. Law Centres are staffed by solicitors and specialist case workers.