Information for the public Information for providers

What we do


The Scottish Legal Aid Board was set up in 1987 to manage legal aid in Scotland. We are a non-departmental public body responsible to the Scottish Government. 


Our work

For more information go to Our work

Purpose of legal aid 

The purpose of legal aid in Scotland is to provide access to legal assistance and representation for those people who are unable to pay for it on their own.

By providing people with access to assistance and representation at difficult times in their lives, we contribute to the Scottish Government’s Purpose to deliver a more successful Scotland with opportunities for everyone.

Legal aid in Scotland provides a vital service to people, many of them vulnerable, who would not otherwise be able to pursue or defend their rights, or fund their defence. Legal aid can make an important difference to people at difficult times in their lives. For example, it can help people maintain their financial security, keep their jobs or prevent unfair dismissal, or help remove them from the dangers of domestic abuse. By doing this, legal aid helps to prevent wider social problems such as people slipping into poverty. It therefore improves people's lives and helps Scotland become a more successful place.

Legal aid is also an important element of the wider criminal justice system and by providing publicly funded legal assistance to those accused of crimes, legal aid helps the criminal justice system to operate fairly. An effective and efficient system of legal aid helps cases to be processed through the courts as quickly as possible.

Our Purpose

To manage and improve continuously publicly funded legal assistance and to advise Scottish Ministers on its strategic development for the benefit of society

Strategic Objectives 

Our strategic objectives are:

By fulfilling our Purpose and Strategic Objectives, both we and legal aid will better contribute to the achievement of Scottish Government aims, an efficient justice system and improved outcomes for those who need services supported by legal aid.


Quick links

19, Sep, 2018

Research estimates around 70 trainees in firms providing criminal training

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18, Sep, 2018

Report on victims of trafficking event

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06, Sep, 2018

Non-solicitor vacancy on Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Committee

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04, Sep, 2018

Secondment opportunity for criminal solicitor with Scottish Government

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04, Sep, 2018

Youngsters wanted to help shape the Children’s Hearing System in Scotland

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