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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Where to get legal advice

You can get legal advice online, over the phone or face to face. You might also be eligible for legal aid to help pay for the cost of legal advice. Find out where you can go to get help and what to expect when you speak to a legal adviser.

Getting legal aid

You should check if you can receive legal aid to help with your problem. Legal aid is a scheme that helps people pay for legal advice. You might get legal aid if you meet certain conditions. You can find out more about legal aid using the links below.

Organisations offering free help and advice

Community Legal Advice

Telephone: 0845 345 4 345
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 8.00 pm. Saturday 9.00 am to 12.30 pm.

You can get free and independent legal advice about your problems and the best way to deal with them from the organisations listed below.

Community Legal Advice

Community Legal Advice can provide free help or legal advice over the phone. They can help with family, debt, housing, employment, education, welfare benefits and tax credits problems.

They will check to see if you are eligible for legal aid and put you in touch with a specialist legal adviser. If you are not eligible for legal aid, Community Legal Advice can still put you in touch with organisations that can help.

Telephone: 0845 345 4 345
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 8.00 pm. Saturday 9.00 am to 12.30 pm.

Calls to Community Legal Advice cost 4 pence a minute from a BT landline. Calls from mobiles will usually cost more. If you are worried about the cost of the call, they can call you back.

You can also text 'legalaid' then your name to 80010 and Community Legal Advice will call you back within 24 hours.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice can help you with legal, money and other problems by providing free information and confidential advice from over 3,200 locations around the country.

The Law Society

The Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales. You can use their directory to find a solicitor in your area who can help with your type of problem.

Law Centres

If you're being threatened with legal action you can get free and independent legal advice from your local Law Centre.


LawWorks provides free legal help for people who can't afford to pay for it but who are not eligible for legal aid. This is known as 'pro bono' work.

You can find details about how they can help you and their legal advice clinics on their website.

Get legal advice in British Sign Language

Community Legal Advice in partnership with the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) provide specialist, independent legal advice in British Sign Language. If you are eligible for legal aid, you can use the webcam service on their website to get legal advice.

Get legal advice if English isn't your first language

The Community Legal Advice helpline has a free translation service for legal advice in 170 languages.

Citizens Advice has information in different languages, including Bengali, Polish and Gujarati.

Getting legal advice for housing, money and consumer problems

Some legal problems require specialist legal advice. These could include problems with housing, money or consumer issues. Specialist advice will help you get your problem dealt with more effectively. Use the link below to find organisations offering specialist advice.

Go to a solicitor or legal adviser

You can get help and legal advice from a solicitor or legal adviser. They can tell you the different options available to you and help prepare your case if it needs to go to court.

When you first speak to your adviser, you should remember to have the following information with you:

  • copies of any letters relating to your problem 
  • copies of any court documents relating to your problem
  • any other documents that may help the adviser (for example, tenancy agreements, marriage or birth certificates)

If you think you might be eligible for legal aid, you should also take the following information with you:

  • information about your and your partner’s income and expenses (for example, wage slips, bank statements)
  • proof of any benefits you receive
  • details of any savings you have
  • your National Insurance number

Your legal adviser should explain:

  • your options for resolving the problem 
  • your chances of getting the result you want
  • if you might have to go to court
  • your eligibility for legal aid and other ways to pay legal costs
  • what you might have to pay if you lose your case
  • how to complain if you are unhappy with the legal advice you receive

Before you leave the meeting, you should know:

  • what you need to do next
  • what your adviser will do next
  • if you need to give your adviser any more information and documents
  • if there are other key dates or deadlines you need to know about
  • when your adviser will contact you again, or when your next meeting might be
  • how long they think your case will take

You must tell your legal adviser everything about your case, so they can help you in the best way possible. Any information you tell them will be kept private and confidential.

Help and advice in Welsh

You can get information about dealing with your legal problems in Welsh by following the links below.

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Additional links

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You could be entitled to financial support - find out what's available

Legal aid in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Find out more about legal aid if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland

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