Housing issues, work disputes, divorces, child custody cases… just a few of the situations in which you might require a touch of legal advice (or even representation). However, when you’re in tough circumstances, the last thing you want to be worrying about is a hefty legal bill.
Luckily, depending on your issue and financial circumstances, if you need a lawyer or solicitor you might be entitled to free legal advice. Be sure to explore the following avenues.
You could be eligible to receive free legal aid for civil cases relating to things like welfare benefits, debt, housing, discrimination and education. Civil legal aid can include advice on your rights and options, help at court, family mediation and representation by a solicitor or barrister.
Not all legal aid is free, unfortunately, and you may have to pay some costs, such as court fees and statutory charges. Of course, you’ll still be receiving highly professional legal advice and information, since all legal aid services must be provided by those with a Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract.
Check out any insurance policies you have and see if they offer help with legal expenses (that’s what insurance is there for!). Your household insurance may include legal help for personal injury or property problems, whereas car insurance can also recover losses from an accident that wasn’t your fault.
As the insurance provider inevitably decides who takes on your case, there’s a good chance you’ll be represented by a reputable solicitor or legal advisor.
Law centres and solicitors
Even if you can’t afford legal advice, solicitors or law centres might provide some sort of complimentary help or fixed-fee service. This can give you a strong idea of whether a case is worth pursuing or not.
For information about fixed-fee solicitor help or further legal advice, you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Images by University of Salford and Sean Macentee, used under Creative Commons licence.