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Information for the public

Legal aid allows people to get help for their legal problems.

In most cases this is accessed through a solicitor who offers help through legal aid, or other legal advice providers funded by SLAB. How do I find a solicitor?

We can provide funding for people to get legal advice and representation - where a solicitor can act for them in court.

This part of our website contains information for:

The links to the left give more information about the different types of legal assistance.

You can also look at our leaflets.

Or you can click on the questions below to get you started:

Is my case criminal or civil?

Criminal legal assistance helps people who need legal advice or representation if they have been questioned by the police or charged with a criminal offence.

 Find out more about criminal legal assistance.  

Civil legal assistance helps people to get legal advice and the help of a solicitor to resolve their problem and, if necessary, to put their civil case in court. It may be free or you may have to pay something towards it.  

Examples of civil cases:

  • divorce and other matters affecting families and children
  • trying to get compensation for injuries after an accident or for medical negligence
  • housing matters such as rent or mortgage arrears, repairs and eviction
  • debt and welfare rights
  • matters relating to immigration, nationality and asylum. 

Find out more about civil legal assistance.


Can I speak to someone about Legal Aid?

Yes. To find out more about legal aid and if you qualify you can call our legal aid information line on: 0845 122 8686.

Please note that we do not provide legal advice. Calls are charged at local rate. For training and monitoring purposes calls to SLAB may be recorded.


Am I likely to qualify financially for advice and assistance in civil, criminal or children's cases or for civil legal aid?

You can use an online calculator to work out if you are likely to qualify financially for advice and assistance in civil, criminal or children's cases or for civil legal aid in civil cases.


Can I get help if I'm a child?

A children can apply for legal aid if you are old enough to understand why you need a solicitor to help you, and to ask a solicitor to work for you. But you will have to go and see a solicitor first. (You can only get legal aid through a solicitor.) Find out more 


How do I find a solicitor?

You can use our Solicitor Finder to get information on your nearest solicitor who offers help through legal aid, or other legal advice providers funded by SLAB.


Do you need help with housing eviction, repossession, welfare benefits, debt or small claims?

The Scottish Legal Aid Board funds projects around Scotland to help people who are facing legal problems. The current projects can help with one or more of the following types of problem:

  • assistance and representation focused on the resolution of a mortgage repossession or tenancy repossession action;
  • assistance for serious debt problems;
  • assistance and representation focused on resolving welfare benefits problems;
  • information, one-off advice and signposting about civil court processes;
  • assistance and casework assistance with small claims cases to help you to solve problems before they get to court or early in the court process. 

More information  



Important things to bear in mind when applying for legal aid

It is important that only those who are financially eligible receive legal aid. So it is essential that the information you provide about your circumstances is complete and accurate. You must also tell us about any changes in your circumstances, where appropriate.

If we find that you have made a false statement or have held back information about either your case or your circumstances, we may stop any legal aid given to you and you may have to repay the full costs of the case. You could also face criminal charges.

We have a duty to make sure public money is properly spent and we check with the Department for Work and Pensions, councils, employers and any other relevant third party, that the information applicants give us is accurate.

National Fraud Initiative

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. Read More



Quick links

Legal Aid News

26, Jan, 2016

SNSIAP Update January 2016

Read article

22, Jan, 2016

Recruitment process underway for new board chair and member positions

Read article

14, Jan, 2016

Police station duty scheme update

Read article

18, Dec, 2015

SLAB's annual report for 2014-2015 published

Read article

11, Dec, 2015

Police station duty scheme update

Read article

04, Nov, 2015

SLAB to develop and implement new sustainable accreditation model for advice providers

Read article

30, Oct, 2015

£7,500 confiscation order against ex-Advocate

Read article

27, Oct, 2015

Conference explores the developing role advice services play in tackling inequalities

Read article

23, Oct, 2015

Success of joint-funding approach sees projects extended into 2016

Read article

02, Oct, 2015

Legal aid review plan published

Read article

30, Jun, 2015

New Parliamentary regulations remove restriction on ABWOR in Double Jeopardy cases

Read article

16, Mar, 2015

Police station duty scheme update

Read article