We have a fixed number of solicitors working for us. That means we are not able to provide a legal casework service to everyone who asks us to take their case.
We target our services at specific types of work where we can have the biggest impact. We also have a system to ensure that we prioritise cases in a way that allows us to make the best use of the resources we have.
In the sections below you can find information on:
You speak to our CLAO intake team who take some basic information; name, address, etc.
You speak with CLAO staff about your legal problem, finances, and eligibility. They also discuss the issue about which you are seeking help.
Outcome 1: You are told you are not eligible for legal assistance. You are given information on where to find a solicitor and/or other organisations that may be able to help you.
Outcome 2: You are told you will not be admitted to CLAO casework service. CLAO will try and find a solicitor for you and/or give details of other organisations that may be able to help you.
Outcome 3: You are told your case is something CLAO might be able to help you with. You speak to duty solicitor.
Outcome 4: Duty solicitor tells you your case will be put forward for consideration for casework service. Someone will contact you to let you know.
Outcome 5: Duty solicitor tells you your case will not be put forward for consideration for casework service. They will give you some advice about what to do next.
Outcome 6: Other steps can be taken by you before a solicitor needs to be involved.
To use our service you must be eligible for 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.
The Scottish Government website's Guide to Legal Aid (Opens on external site) explains about the different types of legal assistance - advice and assistance and civil legal aid - and how to see if you're eligible.
You can use one of the Scottish Legal Aid Board's eligibility estimators (Opens on external site) to work out if you are likely to qualify financially for advice and assistance or civil legal aid.
Complete this 3-step form and at the end of it you'll know if we may be able to help you, and how to contact us.