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Where can I go for legal advice?

Where can I go for legal advice?Having legal trouble but can't afford to see a solicitor? Find out where you can get reliable advice for free.

Citizen's Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureaux are independent charities which provide free advice on a wide range of subjects, including legal issues.

You can get advice over the phone or in person, and most bureaux can offer a home visit if you need it. If you need help from a solicitor, they'll also be able to help you find one and to apply for Legal Aid if you qualify.

Civil Legal Advice (CLA)

Civil Legal Advice (CLA) is free legal advice provided by the government. It can help with problems involving:

  • benefit appeals
  • debt
  • housing
  • discrimination issues
  • help and advice if you’re a victim of domestic violence
  • issues around a child being taken into care

You can only get CLA if you qualify for Legal Aid. This is based on how serious your problem is and whether you could afford to pay for legal help yourself. You can get guidance on whether you are eligible for Legal Aid on Gov.uk.

Legal clinics

Some solicitors' firms offer free clinics, which offer a brief appointment with a solicitor. They'll normally run for an hour or two one evening a week, and you'll get a slot of around 20minutes.

To get the most out of these, make sure you prepare. Bring along all the relevant information about your problem, along with any details and documents that might be relevant. You should also try to arrive early, as most surgeries are done on a first-come-first-served basis. Finally, make sure you check that the surgery can cover your situation, as some are only for specific kinds of problem such as compensation claims.

You can find a clinic using the LawWorks Clinics Network or by searching online.

Online advice

There are lots of online sources of legal advice, from articles giving general information to services offering responses to specific questions. These can be convenient and cheap or free – but be careful. The advice available could be out of date or not appropriate to your specific situation, so it could do you more harm than good. However, online advice might help you to work out the questions you need to ask when you do get one-to-one advice.

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