Are you entitled to free legal help?
If you can’t manage to pay for legal advice, cheaper or free help might be available.
Getting legal aid
If your case is serious and you are on a low income, legal aid may be available in cases of:
– Forced marriage or domestic violence
– Family mediation
– Attending court under the Human Rights Act
– Accusations of crime
Legal aid is available for both civil and criminal cases. For more information, search gov.uk; for family matters, try the Child Law Advice website. See the Law Society website for legal aid solicitors.
Citizens Advice help
Your local Citizens Advice bureau may support you with issues related to:
– Community care
– Disability rights
– Employment rights
– Family law
– Immigration and asylum
– Mental health
Find a law centre
Your nearest law centre can be found on the Law Centres Network website.
The charity LawWorks website has a free legal advice clinic.
A referral to Advocate
If your case will be going to a tribunal or court, consider getting a free volunteer barrister via Advocate (see their website).
Gloucester solicitors that can advise you include https://www.deeandgriffin.co.uk/.
The Law Society has some further advice at https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/for-the-public/paying-for-legal-services/getting-free-legal-advice/.
Exceptional case funding
If legal aid isn’t available to you, there’s an outside chance you may get ‘exceptional case funding’. See the Public Law Project website.
Using a solicitor cheaply
Solicitors may offer you a free or set cost appointment or a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement. ‘No win, no fee’ arrangements are a way of paying for civil cases. These agreements are sometimes called ‘contingency’ or ‘conditional’. If you win your case, your solicitor is generally paid by the other side. If you lose, you’ll typically have to pay the costs of the other side and possibly your solicitor’s expenses. Insurance to cover your costs should you lose is available.
Finding a solicitor
Check whether your local Citizens Advice has a list of solicitors. The Law Society website covers using a solicitor and how to complain.
Membership or insurance help
Motoring organisations may offer members free car-related legal help. Subscriptions, trades union memberships and credit cards may also offer financial support. Check your policy to see whether you are covered.