As a British citizen: If I can't afford to pay a solicitor to get legal advice, am I entitled to free legal advice from the government?

  • Under what circumstances? The answers differ based on the situation.
    – cpast
    Jul 30, 2015 at 16:17
  • 1
    In certain conditions yes, see gov.uk/legal-aid, but in general I presume not. I'm not sure in which cases this is a "legal right" and in which cases it's simply a service that the government provides. Jul 30, 2015 at 16:20
  • Also, it varies by jurisdiction (England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)
    – cpast
    Jul 30, 2015 at 16:25
  • Yes you are entitled to legal advice. You are also entitled to pay for it.
    – Dale M
    Jul 31, 2015 at 3:41
  • There is a right to a fair trial, under article six of the European convention on human rights. In some circumstances it might be argued that if you are forced to go through a trial without an opportunity to get advice that you need then this right is infringed.
    – bdsl
    Jul 31, 2015 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


It depends on the circumstances, see here.

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

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