What is Legal Aid

This is a benefit that some people can receive to cover some or all of their legal costs. It depends on your circumstances whether you can use it.  It also depends on the type of legal issue that you need help with.

Legal aid can cover some types of non-criminal legal cases. These are known as civil legal advice, and can include things like debt, housing and discrimination issues.

Working out if you can use legal aid

Firstly you can visit the Government's website. This should help you work out if it could be available for you.

If it looks like you might be eligible you can contact Civil Legal Advice (known as the CLA) to discuss getting free and confidential legal advice. You can visit the CLA website, or call them on 0345 345 4345 (call charges apply).

You can request a free call back through the CLA website, or you can text ‘legalaid’ and your name to 80010 to ask CLA to call you back. This costs the same as a normal text message.

What can lawyers tell me about legal aid?

If you get in touch with a law firm to discuss your legal issue with them, they will be able to talk to you about legal aid and if it is available for you.

What happens to people who are arrested?

If you are arrested and are in custody at a police station you have the right to get free legal advice from a lawyer. The police station can arrange all of this for you. If you already have a lawyer that you want to talk to, you have the right to talk to them instead if you want. You may need to pay for their time if you choose to talk to your own lawyer. Take a look at our I have been arrested page for more information.

More on Legal Aid

The Solicitors Regulation Authority provides more information about legal aid and costs. You can also find out information from Citizens Advice about legal aid.