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What you need to know

There are two kinds of legal aid help

Advice and assistance

This helps pay for advice from a solicitor on any matter of Scots law, civil or criminal – for example, to try to settle a dispute for you without going to court. As well as advising you about the matter you have raised, your solicitor can:

You have to qualify financially for advice and assistance and you may need to pay a contribution towards the cost of the work done for you. If you win or keep money in your case, you may have to pay up to the full cost of the work done for you.

Only a solicitor can grant advice and assistance.

Civil legal aid

This helps pay for your solicitor to act for you in court. It covers the preparation work, as well as the hearing itself, and can provide funding for advocates and experts if needed.

You have to qualify financially for civil legal aid and you may need to pay a contribution towards the cost of your case.If you win or keep money in your case, you may have to pay up to the full cost of the work done for you. 

Only a solicitor can apply for civil legal aid on your behalf. 

Some people need only advice and assistance, others need only legal aid, and some need both. Many people start the legal process with advice and assistance, and then move on to legal aid. If you do not qualify for advice and assistance, you may still qualify for legal aid, and vice versa – ask your solicitor about this.

Find out more

To find out more about the kinds of cases that qualify for civil legal aid, and about the financial eligibility tests for civil legal aid and advice and assistance, go to the Eligibility page.

There is more information here on how to find a solicitor or other organisations who can provide advice.

Quick links

Legal Aid News

31, Jul, 2018

Criminal Justice Disability Project Report published

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30, Jul, 2018

RECRUITING: Housing and Benefits Peer Reviewers for SNSIAP

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27, Jul, 2018

Consultation on proposed changes to the Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme and peer review criteria

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06, Jul, 2018

No access to SLAB website and LAOL from old operating systems after Sunday 2 September

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28, Jun, 2018

Three more agencies achieve SNSIAP accreditation for quality of casework and representation

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