If you do not have a local Law Centre where you live, you might still get help with your problem. Here are some sources of information and advice. 

PLEASE NOTE: LCN does not take responsibility for external content linked to from this website. 

General Advice

Legal Adviser Finder

This is an online directory of advice available on legal aid basis. It can be searched by area of law and location.

Legal aid at GOV.UK website

Gov.UK (formerly DirectGov) is the Government's portal for public services. This section explains what is covered by legal aid and how eligibility for it is calculated. 

AdviceNow

This website provides diverse information, aiming to help you make sense of the law and your rights. 

AdviceUK

AdviceUK is a membership network for advice organisations, and their website has a useful help and advice section.

Public Access Scheme

This links to a series of short online talks about how members of the public can instruct a barrister directly, and how to make the process cheaper and more effective.

Bar Pro Bono Unit

You may be able to access legal help through BPBU if you cannot afford to pay and cannot access legal aid. As BPBU does not take calls directly from the public, you will need to be referred to them though a local advice organisation or Law Centre.

Children and Education

Coram Children's Legal Centre

CCLC is a national charity that promotes children's rights and provides advice on related matters. 

Clinical Negligence

AvMA - Action Against Medical Accidents

AvMA is the UK charity for patient safety and justice, and advises people who are affected by medical accidents.

Consumer Issues

Consumer Service

The information and advice service formerly known as Consumer Direct is now operated by Citizens Advice. The service handles general consumer issues, as well as complaints about energy companies and the postal service.

Debt and Money Advice

National Debtline 

Telephone helpline from the Money Advice Trust that gives free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. Can also be contacted by email for advice.

StepChange Debt Charity (formerly CCCS)

Debt advice charity that offers a free and confidential telephone helpline. If you cannot make a free call, you can also ask CCCS to call you back instead. The website also offers an online tool to help manage bills and spending.

Money Advice Service

Website with useful information, tools, calculators, planners and tips on managing your money. MAS can also be contacted by phone or by by live web chat.

Disability Rights

Disability Law Service

DLS runs a service operated by people with disabilities and for them. They provide information and advice about disability rights as well as on tackling discrimination against people with disabilities.

Discrimination

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)

EASS can inform you about your rights and options with regard to equality and discrimination matters, either by telephone or by email. Please note that EASS is not able to give legal advice.

Employment

ACAS - the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

The ACAS website provides detailed information and guidance on various workplace and employment issues. They also operate a confidential and impartial helpline on 0300 123 1100.

University of Law Advice Line

From April 2013 legal aid is no longer available for employment law, except in cases involving discrimination. This makes it much more difficult to find free advice on these matters. 

The University of Law is operating an advice line on employment law. To make initial contact please call 01483 216 528. You will be asked for some details about yourself and, if appropriate, get a telephone appointment which may take place between 6pm-8pm. The service is operated by qualified solicitors with law students assisting. 

Family

University of Law Advice Line

From April 2013 legal aid is no longer available for most family law cases. This makes it much more difficult to find free advice on these matters. 

The University of Law is operating an advice line on family law. To make initial contact please call 01483 216 528. You will be asked for some details about yourself and, if appropriate, get a telephone appointment which may take place between 5:30pm-7:30pm. The service is operated by qualified solicitors with law students assisting. 

Housing

Shelter

Shelter is a large natioal charity that campaigns and provides advice on housing and homelessness. Their website contains plenty of information and also contact details for getting advice. 

Prison

The Howard League

Among its many functions, the Howard League for Penal Reform offers ways of accessing advice either directly or by helping people find a solicitor specialising in prison law.

Prisoners Advice Service

PAS provides legal advice and information to prisoners about their rights and conditions.

Women

The charity Rights of Women is offering free, confidential legal advice for women in England and Wales. All their advisers are women solicitors or barristers with expertise in the relevant areas of law. Please ring during the relevant advice line session. We cannot advise outside of the advice line times or by email. We can only advise in English on the law as it is applied in England and Wales.

Family law advice line for advice on issues including domestic violence and abuse; divorce and civil partnership dissolution; relationship breakdown; issues relating to children, including parental responsibility, child contact and residence. Please call 020 7251 6577 (telephone) or 020 7490 2562 (textphone) on Tuesdays 7pm-9pm, Wednesdays 7pm-9pm, Thursdays 7pm-9pm and Fridays 12noon-2pm.

Immigration and asylum law advice line for advice on issues including the rights of EEA nationals and their family members; claiming asylum in the UK; trafficking; domestic violence and immigration law; and no recourse to public funds. Please call 020 7490 7689 (telephone) or 020 7490 2562 (textphone) on Mondays 2pm-4pm and Wednesdays 11am-1pm.

Criminal law advice line for advice on issues including sexual offences, including rape and sexual assault; domestic violence and harassment; reporting offences to the police and the criminal justice system; the rights of victims, witnesses and defendants; and criminal injuries compensation. Please call 020 7251 8887 (telephone) or 020 7490 2562 (textphone) on Tuesdays 11am-1pm.

Doing it without legal advice

There are several guides available online for download which help 'litigants in person', or people representing themselves, to go about it. [Please note, these guides were not prepared by LCN and we are not responsible for their contents.]

Representing yourself in court:

A guide to representing yourself in court, by the Bar Council.

Small Claims:

A guide to bringing and defending a small claim, by the Civil Justice Council.

Employment Tribunals:

A practical guide for claimants starting a claim in the Employment Tribunal, by law firm Leigh Day

Attending family court:

A short guide from Coram Children's Legal Centre [PDF].

Three videos on attending family court without a lawyer, from barrister Lucy Reed.

Official Ombudsmen

Legal Ombudsman

LeO is a free service that has the power to resolve complaints about lawyers.

Financial Ombudsman Service

FOS settles complaints about banks, insurers and other financial services.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

PHSO considers complaints about government departments, many public bodies, and the NHS in England.

Independent Police Complaints Commission

IPCC independently handles complaints about the police in England and Wales.

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