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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

08, Feb, 2018

Non-solicitor vacancies on the Civil Legal Aid Quality Assurance Committee

Read article

30, Jan, 2018

Research with people who have received criminal legal assistance

Read article

12, Jan, 2018

Glasgow City Council v SLAB judicial review case

Read article

08, Jan, 2018

Police station arrangements from 25 January 2018

Read article