Where to get legal advice
Last updated on 17 May 2016
The information on this website is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities and is not legal advice. If you need more details on your rights, or legal advice about what action to take, please contact an adviser or solicitor.
There may be times when you need to seek legal advice but would rather not use a solicitor, which can be very expensive. There are other organisations that may be able to offer free advice and information to help you to solve any problems that you are experiencing.
Local legal advice
There are many organisations that provide legal advice in Newcastle.
The Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau can give you free, confidential, impartial and independent information and advice on a wide range of subjects. They can work with you to sort out your debt worries and to claim all of the benefits you may be entitled to. They can help with housing and employment problems, or deal with queries about consumer or tax issues. They can also advise on legal matters, answer questions about immigration, and have lots of experience on family and personal matters too.
The Newcastle Law Centre provides free confidential legal advice on Immigration & Asylum issues to Newcastle residents. They offer a one-off 30 minute advice session.
Shelter North East have specialist advisers who can provide you with information on your legal rights under housing law. They provide free, confidential and expert advice to support people who are experiencing housing problems. The trained advisers will be able to inform you of your legal rights, explain your options and provide advocacy to help you to liaise with landlords and the local authority etc.
The Student Law Office is a legal advice centre where law students deal with cases under the supervision of qualified lawyers. They can offer free independent, confidential advice and representation in many areas of law, including:
- Business Advice
- Welfare benefits
- Crime and Miscarriages of Justice
- Human Rights
- Prison Law
Please note that the Student Law Office can only take on cases during the academic year, which is from October to May. Outside of these times, the students are away and they have limited cover. Also, they can not guarantee to be able to take on all cases.
Age UK Newcastle provide a monthly legal surgery for older people with a qualified solicitor to help you with any legal needs and a monthly surgery with the pensions’ service. Appointments need to be made in advance.
Finding a Solicitor
The Law Society is the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales. Their website has a facility which enables you to search for a law firm in your area that can help with your particular legal issue. They also deal with complaints about solicitors.
Solicitors for the Elderly is a national organisation of lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and legal executives, who are committed to providing and promoting robust, comprehensive and independent legal advice for older people, their family and carers. They can provide expert advice in many areas of law including wills and probate, Power of Attorney, housing, and long-term care.
Other Sources of Legal Advice
There are websites that can offer a wide range of advice and information about legal matters. You may wish to read about the subject that you are interested in before seeking advice from a solicitor or other organisation. The Citizen's Advice Bureau Adviceguide is a good starting point.
Financial Help Available
Legal Aid helps with the costs of legal advice for people who can't afford it. If you need help with the costs of legal advice, you can apply for Legal Aid. Whether you will receive it will depend upon:
- the type of legal problem you have;
- your income (how much you earn) and how much capital (money, property, belongings) you have;
- whether there is a reasonable chance of winning your case and whether it is worth the time and money needed to win.
To find out if you are eligible for legal aid visit www.gov.uk.
Civil Legal Advice can provide you free and confidential legal advice if you’re eligible for legal aid.
Not Eligible for Legal Aid?
If you are not eligible for Legal Aid there are local organisations mentioned above who may be able to help with free advice or put you in touch with your local Law Centre. You can also visit the national websites below.
- Advicenow is an independent, not-for-profit website providing helpful information on rights and legal issues for the general public. They provide an information service which draws together the best information available and produce their own guides.
- Law Centres Network can help you to find legal help in your local area. All Law Centres offer face-to-face legal advice to local residents, and some run a telephone advice line. Some Law Centres also provide advice to community groups on issues such as legal structure and governance.
Other Useful Information
- Age UK's Help with legal advice guide