Civil Legal Assistance

What is civil legal assistance?

Legal assistance is the help you can sometimes get when you can't afford to pay your own legal costs.

To apply for legal assistance, you'll need to find a solicitor that does legal aid work.

This could either be from solicitors in private practice who do legal aid work, or from solicitors employed by the Civil Legal Assistance Office.

For civil and children’s matters there are several different forms of legal aid available in Scotland.

A solicitor will talk you through your options, let you know if you're likely to get legal aid and help you with the application process.

How do I find out if I am eligible for legal assistance?

You can find out whether you are likely to be financially eligible for civil legal assistance by going to the following websites:

  • Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) – use the ‘Eligibility Estimators’ to see if you qualify for legal assistance. The Scottish Legal Aid Board’s website also has leaflets on legal assistance.
  • Scottish Government – the Guide to legal aid: this has information on legal advice and legal aid, including getting free help with legal problems, finding a solicitor and applying for legal aid.

Alternatively, you can telephone the Financial Assessment Unit at SLAB on 0845 123 2330 or you may find a copy of SLAB’s leaflet “Information for applicants”, which lets you work out if you may be eligible, in your local library or Citizens Advice Bureaux.