Legal Aid

What is legal aid?

Legal aid helps with the costs of legal advice for people who can’t afford it.If you need help with the costs of legal advice, you can apply for legal aid. Whether you will receive it will depend upon :

  • the type of legal problem you have;
  • your income (how much you earn) and how much capital (money, property, belongings) you have;
  • whether there is a reasonable chance of winning your case and whether it is worth the time and money needed to win.

About legal aid

The government provides funding for legal aid to help people:

  • protect their basic rights and get a fair hearing ;
  • access the court process to sort out disputes ;
  • solve problems that contribute to social exclusion.

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) runs the legal aid scheme in England and Wales. Their work is overseen by the Ministry of Justice and the annual legal budget is set by the Treasury.

The LSC looks after legal aid in England and Wales. The Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission run the system in those countries.

Who can get legal aid?

Legal aid is available for both criminal and civil matters.

In criminal cases to apply for legal aid you must fill in an ‘Application for Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings’ form which your solicitor will give you. If you do not fill in this form, you will not get legal aid.

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For more information on:

  • Am I eligible?
  • In Civil Cases
  • In Criminal Cases