Information for the Public

What can we help with?

Our advocates can assist with any of the specialist services which they would give in a paying case including:

  • Written legal advice on your case
  • Legal advice in a consultation with you
  • Representation in courts, tribunals and at mediation

We can help in all areas of law.

Who can get help?

You may be able to get help in your case if the following applies:

  • You cannot obtain public funding (legal aid)
  • You cannot afford to pay for the help you need, or get it elsewhere
  • Your case must usually have legal merit
  • Any single piece of work for which assistance is requested will not take more than 3 days

The Unit has limited resources, and can only help in some cases.

How can I get help?

All applications to the Unit must be made through an advice agency (see our list as below). If your advice agency has not heard of the Unit, they can contact us or visit this website for more information.

It is entirely up to each advice agency whether or not to make an application to the Unit in any individual case.

If you want to apply on behalf of a charity, community group, company or other organisation, please contact us to find out how you can apply.

Deadlines for applying

You should visit an advice agency as soon as possible. The earlier we get your application, the more likely it is that we can help. The Unit requires at least 3 weeks' notice before any hearing date or deadline.

Important note about costs

The service provided by the Unit is entirely free. However, in certain cases, the court or tribunal may order legal expenses to be paid by the client of a volunteer advocate to the party on the other side in the case.

Resources to help you find an advice agency

If you are a member of the public wanting to get help from the Unit, you need to go to an advice agency who can decide whether your case is one in which an application should be made to the Unit.

The Unit can only assist in Scottish law cases. If your case relates to an action which will be heard in the courts of England and Wales, you may wish to try one of these organisations:

Accredited Advice Agencies

British Polio

British Polio

The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering approximately 120,000 people in the UK living with the late effects of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), a neurological condition. It provides information, welfare and support to those living with the effects to enable all to live full independent and integrated lives.

Casus Omissus

About us

Casus Omissus, the Aberdeen Law Project, is a law clinic operating in partnership with the University of Aberdeen. The Aberdeen Law Project is a student founded, led, and operated law clinic committed to providing legal services to those in the community with no alternative means of support. The clinic aims to supplement existing services through the provision of representation and advice across key areas including housing, employment and consumer law.

Citizen's Advice Logo

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) - a national umbrella body that provides essential services to Scottish citizens advice bureaux.
Citizens advice bureaux - independent, local charities that are members of Citizens Advice Scotland. Bureaux provide advice and information to people in need in over 200 locations.

Clan Child Law Logo

Clan Child Law


We are an ambitious, exciting and unique outreach law centre, delivering free legal advice and representation to children and young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians. We aim to give practical effect to Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, enabling children to participate fully in decision making processes which affect them and allowing their views to be heard. We help children and young people up to the age of 18, or 21 if they have been looked after children.

Diabetes UK Logo

Diabetes UK

We are the largest charity in the UK devoted to the treatment and care of people with diabetes - to improve the quality of life for people with the condition.

Citizen's Advice Logo

Drumchapel Law & Money Advice Centre

Since 1987 Drumchapel Law & Money Advice Centre (or DLMAC as it is widely known) has been helping people with problems. Originally working only in the Drumchapel area, it now covers the West Glasgow area and is:-

  • a community controlled and registered charity
  • 3 Projects
  • employs 22 staff
  • sees over 1,000 clients every year

The 3 Projects are:
The Advocacy Project - Founded in 1993, it provides advocates for vulnerable adults, aged 18 and over, helping an individual to speak up for themselves.

The Children's Rights Project - Founded in 1998, for children and young people aged 8 - 18 years, the Project aims to give them a voice.

The Law & Money Advice Project - The Centre employs fully trained Money Advisors and Solicitors who provide advice and representation in Social Welfare Law and areas of unmet legal need. All three Projects are dedicated to providing the best service to clients, through high quality advice and excellent customer care. Every year we produce an Annual Report. We operate every week-day and are committed to making a difference in people's lives.

Dundee Law Student Clinic Logo

Dundee Law School Student Clinic

The Student Law Clinic at Dundee University opened its doors on 31 January 2011 in the first of two main phases of activity. The Law Clinic is a new initiative embarked upon by a very enthusiastic and energetic student body in September 2010. We believe the project has to be driven by students if it is to be sustainable, so the widespread support on and off campus is most encouraging. We are a city campus and the city has a very substantial unmet legal need with only one Law Centre and one CAB serving a city of 145,000 people.

Edinburgh University Logo

Edinburgh University Legal Advice Centre

For the last three years Diploma students at the University of Edinburgh, members of staff, and hundreds of solicitor volunteers across Edinburgh have successfully come together to offer free legal advice and support to the local community.

The Free Legal Advice Centre covers a variety of legal issues, varying in severity, from property disputes, contract interpretation, succession issues and the like, to the time constrained cases involving Employment Tribunals and asylum claims. This scheme is mutually beneficial as students receive valuable practical experience and furthered client care skills, while our clients leave with one less issue. With growing popularity and ambition we aim to expand on the services currently provided to the public, both in terms of the legal problems we can advise on and our accessibility.

Citizen's Advice Logo

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre

The Ethnic Minorities Law Centre is a recognised Scottish charity and has been operating since 1991 as a non-profit making company limited by guarantee providing ethnic minority communities with access to professional services to address unmet legal needs. Based in Glasgow and governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, we are the only dedicated centre in Britain providing legal services exclusively to black and ethnic minority communities. Consequently we have developed specialist knowledge and experience in specific areas of the law, particularly discrimination and immigration. We therefore offer a unique range of legal services to ethnic minority communities who need help in accessing their rights and in redressing racial discrimination; potentially a model for national application.

Gordon Rural Action

Gordon Rural Action is a registered Scottish Charity that was founded in 1978 with the aim of improving the quality of life for individuals within our local communities through the provision of a high quality advice and information service. We provide, free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issues including welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and consumer problems. We cover a large rural area that encompasses Ellon, Huntly, Inverurie, and can arrange appointments with clients at various locations across North, South and Central Aberdeenshire.

Citizen's Advice Logo

Granton Information Centre (GIC)

Granton Information Centre (GIC) provides free, impartial and confidential expert advice, information and representation to the residents of North Edinburgh on a range of issues and by a variety of methods inc. centre-based interviews, home visits, outreach / drop in clinics, representation, training provision and raising awareness sessions.
The main issues we deal with at Granton Information Centre are:-

  • Welfare Benefits
  • Housing Advice
  • Employment Rights
  • Debt / Money Advice
  • Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency

Independent Special Education Advice LogoIndependent Parental Special Education Advice

I.P.S.E.A was established in 1998 by parents to provide free, independent advice, information and support to parents who have a child/young person with special educational needs.

Law Wise Law Clinic

The Law Wise Law Clinic is the law clinic of the University of the West of Scotland and is supported by Renfrewshire Law Centre, both based in Paisley, Scotland.

MR Associates LogoMR Associates

We provide specialist advice, representation and training around the housing benefit scheme in relation to supported accommodation. Our unrivalled knowledge of the scheme, years of experience in successfully resolving housing benefit disputes, and a small team of committed specialists ensures we're the first choice for charities and organisations seeking advice and representation.

Mark Rodgers established MR Associates in 2000 and today is considered one of the UK's leading experts regarding the housing benefit scheme in relation to supported accommodation.

The area of supported housing and benefits can be complex and time-consuming. We can help you tackle a range of issues by providing clear guidance and expert opinion on the housing benefit scheme in relation to supported accommodation. We have an outstanding track record of successfully resolving housing benefit disputes before local authorities and Tribunals. Our expertise around complicated cases, our direct access to leading barristers and advocates, and our in-depth knowledge of housing benefit ensure we get positive outcomes.

Tel: 01475 727089

Open Secret LogoOpen Secret

Open Secret offers support and a safe space to people of all ages who have been affected by abuse.

Contact: Janine Rennie
Chief Executive
Open Secret
98 Thornhill Road

NGVFA LogoNational Gulf Veterans & Families Association

The NGVFA is an independent registered charity supporting those affected by Gulf War 1 and Gulf War 2 (Iraq), the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, and all future desert conflicts.

Planning Aid Logo


PAS is an independent organisation that helps people understand and engage with the planning system, and the places they live, through a free advice service, training, education and awareness raising. The advice service is delivered by chartered planners offering their time to PAS on a volunteer basis.

Renfrewshire Law Centre LogoRenfrewshire Law Centre

Renfrewshire Law Centre (RLC) uses our legal system to improve the life chances of individuals and groups facing poverty or disadvantage across Renfrewshire. We provide legal advice and representation, usually free of charge. RLC is part of the Scottish Association of Law Centres.



We're the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and we're here for everyone affected by sight loss. Whether you're losing your sight or you're blind or partially sighted, our practical and emotional support can help you face the future with confidence.

Whether you need advice on staying in work, using technology to help you do everyday tasks, or simply someone who can offer emotional support to help you come to terms with sight loss.

We're RNIB and we're here from the moment you're diagnosed to help you get on with your life. From the day when you need us the most, until the day you're living your life again.

With your support, we can reach more blind and partially sighted people and face the future with confidence together.

RGU Logo

Robert Gordon University Pro-Bono Unit

Robert Gordon University's Law School Clinic was launched in November 2013. Its student members provide free, confidential and independent legal advice to citizens of Aberdeen who would otherwise be unable to afford a solicitor. The student volunteers work under the supervision of academic staff and qualified solicitors.

The key aims of this initiative are both to provide students with the opportunity to gain practical experience, and to benefit the local community by providing access to justice to those who may need legal advice but who cannot access it elsewhere. or +44(0)1224 263408

Legion Scotland Logo

The Royal British Legion Scotland

Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland) is Scotland's largest veterans' membership charity. We look after the interests of Scotland's ex-service men and women as well as their families, whether they left service yesterday or 50 years ago. We do this by providing comradeship and practical support such as our wellbeing and befriending service, a range of grants, and our specialist disablement pensions advice and advocacy service.

Our disablement pensions service is provided free to veterans who have become disabled, physically or psychologically, as a result of their service in the Armed Forces. We offer telephone based advice on potential claims, help with completing claim forms, and representation at pensions tribunals. As the largest specialist provider of this service in Scotland, every year we represent around 200 ex-service personnel at war pensions tribunals and give advice to countless thousands more.

The service assists veterans to pursue their possible entitlement to a military disablement pension or a claim related to:
- War Disablement Pension: for injuries pre 6th April 2005
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme: for injuries after 6th April 2005
- War Widows Pensions
- Supplementary Allowances

The length of a veteran's service is irrelevant, with the only qualification being that the claimant must have suffered a disability or condition which is shown to be attributable to, or aggravated by, his or her service.

Shelter Scotland Logo

Scotland Shelter

Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. We do this by giving advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need, and by campaigning for lasting political change to end the housing crisis for good.

Shelter Scotland LogoScottish Child Law Centre

Free legal advice for and about kids - we can help you with any questions about the law. We are the only Law Centre in Scotland that works exclusively for children and young people. We provide services throughout the whole of Scotland.

We help children and young people, their families and carers, and professionals working for and with children by providing free expert legal advice and information through our advice line, email and text services.

We also provide a wide range of training on the law and children's rights to groups and individuals across Scotland, and offer a range of leaflets and publications on various legal issues. We do visits to schools and young peoples organisations as well.

Scottish Legal Services Trust

Scottish Legal Services Trust

[Company] LogoScottish Womens' Aid

Scottish Women's Aid is the lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse. We play a vital role campaigning and lobbying for effective responses to domestic abuse.

Scottish Women's Aid
2nd Floor
132 Rose Street

Tel: 0131 226 6606
Fax: 0131 226 2996

Scottish Women's Rights CentreScottish Women's Rights Centre

The Scottish Women's Rights Centre aims to ensure that women in Scotland who have or are experiencing gender based violence are able to access timely and appropriate legal advice and information. The Centre is a partnership project between Rape Crisis Scotland, the University of Strathclyde and the Legal Services Agency, with the helpline staffed by volunteers from the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic.

Open every Wednesday 1.30-4.30pm
Tel: 08088 010 789

Stathclyde Law Clinic LogoStrathclyde University Law Clinic

The Law Clinic was launched in October 2003 in order to provide free legal assistance to people in Glasgow and the surrounding area who are unable to obtain legal assistance through other means. The Clinic is intended to be complementary to existing legal services provided by lawyers and other agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureaux. It therefore, does not act for anyone who can afford professional legal services, or who qualifies for legal aid. Nor will it act in areas like debt or immigration advice where there are already adequate services provided.

The Advice Shop

The Advice Shop

The Advice Shop staff, the Welfare Rights Service and the Money Advice Team offer free confidential and impartial help and advice on a range of problems:-

  • tax and pension credit
  • disability and carers benefits
  • housing benefit and Council Tax benefit
  • money and debt problems
  • rent and mortgage arrears and eviction or repossession
  • fuel advice
Citizens Advice Logo
Citizen's Advice Logo

The Community Help & Advice Initiative (CHAI)

The Community Help & Advice Initiative (CHAI) delivers a broad range of social welfare and housing support services, operating from office bases in Wester Hailes, South Edinburgh and Oxgangs. Outreach services are also provided to the communities in North Edinburgh and Restalrig.

The Royal Air Forces Association LogoThe Royal Air Forces Association

The Royal Air Forces Association
20 Queen Street

Tel: 0131 225 5221

logoYou First Advocacy

Advocacy gives people a voice, standing up for their rights, concerns, views and aspirations ensuring they are listened to as they engage with services.

Everyone can, at times, feel vulnerable when dealing with people in authority. At You First Advocacy we empower individuals to change this by speaking for them or supporting them to speak for themselves.

47 Causeyside Street

Tel: 0141 849 1229

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