Free Tri-Service legal advice for Serving People and their Families
Legal Advice Clinics provide "first aid" advice on legal matters and are available to all members of the regular and reserve forces and their families. Your advisor will be the Legal Advice Officer (LAO), a role that is carried out by civilian solicitors, who are often members of the National Forces Law network. Whoever may be appointed to assist you at the Clinic, rest assured, they will try to deal with all legal matters and queries that concern you. A consultation with the LAO does not create a Solicitor/Client relationship, and if the LAO does not feel they have the requisite knowledge on a particular subject, alternative arrangements will be made for you.
REMEMBER - early advice in dealing with a problem may resolve matters much more quickly that letting the problem get out of control.
In matrimonial cases it is not usual for the same LAO to see both spouses, be they Service or civilian. The Legal Advice Officer will, however, arrange for a different practice to assist each spouse. With the consent of both spouses, the LAO may consider giving both spouses general procedural advice, in a joint interview, before advising both to seek individual advice as to their respective position.
You can make contact with the NPFS Legal Advice Clinics by calling:
Phone: 01752 555308 | Mil: 9375 65308 - HMS Drake, Fenner Block (Mon, Wed, Thu 10:30 - 12:00)
Phone: 02392 724280 | Mil: 9380 24280 - HMS Nelson, Swiftsure Block
Phone: 01436 672798 - HMNB Clyde, NPFS Base Office (Wed 13:00 to 16:00) by appointment
Phone: 01436 672798 - Helensburgh Families Centre Churchill Square (Thur 13:00 to 16:00) by appointment
Community Legal Services Direct
What is the Community Legal Service? The aim of the Community Legal Service is to ensure that irrespective of means, people can get information and advice about their legal rights and help with enforcing them, bringing together legal aid solicitors, Citizens' Advice Bureaux, Law Centres, local authority services and other organisations in local networks.
Many of the organisations within the Community Legal Service offer some or all of their services for free. Others charge for their services. Types of charges are discussed on the website.
For recorded messages about common legal problems 24 hours a day...
Phone: 0845 345 4 345 - Community Legal Direct
You can use their website to find out:
What is Community Legal Service Direct?
How do I find a solicitor or legal adviser? Search a directory of approved solicitors, advice agencies and information providers.
What are my rights on...? Obtain free leaflets on key areas of law, such as Employment, Welfare Benefits and Debt.
Where else can I get information? Search a database of approved websites containing helpful legal information.
Can I get legal aid? There is a calculator to enable you to work out if you may be financially eligible for CLS-funded help (previously called "civil legal aid").
Web site: Community Legal Services Direct
Citizens' Advice Bureau
Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) is a charitable organisation whose aim it is to assist people in overcoming problems within their lives. They can help with an extremely broad range of subjects, including legal, financial, housing and consumer affairs.
Legal advice, like all services provided, is completely free of charge, independent and impartial and all work is conducted in strict confidence. CAB can offer help with small claims, legal costs, personal injury and police powers amongst other issues. The same standard of advice is afforded to everybody regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disability.
Web site: Citizens Advice Bureau
BBC - The Law
A comprehensive guide about the law, with essential guides and expert advice in easily understood terminology.
Web site: BBC onelife - Legal
Scottish Legal Aid Board
The Scottish Legal Aid Board can provide funding for people who would not otherwise be able to afford it, assisting people who qualify to get legal advice and "representation" (where a solicitor puts their case in court). There is help to find local solicitors who offer legal aid services and leaflets on a range of legal subjects.
Web site: Scottish Legal Aid Board
Legal Services Commission
The Legal Services Commission look after legal aid in England and Wales and they are also responsible for ensuring that people get the information, advice and legal help they need to deal with a wide range of everyday problems.
Through the Community Legal Service (CLS) they help people who are eligible for legal aid to protect their rights. They fund a network of Quality Marked solicitors, Citizens Advice Bureaux and other advice providers to help people who need advice about relationship breakdown or problems with debt, housing, domestic violence and benefits. Help is also available about asylum and immigration, education, employment, mental health and community care issues. The type of help varies from information leaflets and directing people to other services, to specialist advice and taking cases to court where necessary.
The Criminal Defence Service (CDS) helps people who are under investigation or facing criminal charges. By ensuring that people accused of crimes have access to legal advice and representation, the CDS also helps the police and courts operate fairly and efficiently.
Web site: Legal Services Commission
Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission
The 'Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission' is an Executive Non Departmental Public Body, which is responsible for the administration of publicly funded legal services in Northern Ireland.
Web site: Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission
Oasis (Online Access to Services, Information and Support)
Oasis (Online Access to Services, Information and Support) is an Irish e-Government website. The site provides information on the legal, social and civil rights of everyone in Ireland. Oasis provides information you may need at various stages in your life. The Service Finder allows you to find public services in your locality and the Frequently Asked Questions section answers questions about public and legal services in Ireland.
Web site: Online Access to Services, Information & Support