1. Overview

Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal.

You’ll usually need to show that:

  • your case is eligible for legal aid
  • the problem is serious
  • you can’t afford to pay for legal costs

You could for example get legal aid if:

  • you or your family are at risk of abuse or serious harm, eg domestic violence or forced marriage
  • you’re at risk of homelessness or losing your home
  • you’ve been accused of a crime, face prison or detention
  • you’re being discriminated against
  • you need family mediation
  • you’re adding legal arguments or bringing a case under the Human Rights Act

You’ll usually need to show that you can’t afford to pay for this help. You may have to pay some money towards the legal costs of your case or pay costs back later.

Check if you can get legal aid to get help with civil cases. Your legal adviser will usually apply for legal aid on your behalf.

Legal aid rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.