I need a lawyer

I need a lawyer

Unfortunately, Liberty can’t take on individual cases or provide ongoing legal support.

You have options if you think you might need a lawyer to take on your case or represent you in court.

The Legal Choices website can help you understand:

  • if you need a lawyer
  • what types of legal services are available
  • how these legal services can be funded.

If you know you need a lawyer, see below for information on how to find one.

Finding a solicitor

A solicitor is a lawyer who gives legal support, advice, and representation.

Depending on your legal issue , you might be entitled to legal aid. Legal aid is free legal advice or help towards paying for it.

Legal aid works differently depending on whether your case is a criminal case or a civil (non-criminal) case.

Criminal cases

The rules on criminal legal aid are complicated. It’s best to speak to a criminal law solicitor. This is a lawyer who can provide advice on your specific situation.

Use the Law Society’s find a solicitor tool and select “Crime” to find a criminal law solicitor.

Civil cases

Use the government’s online legal aid tool to see if your case qualifies for legal aid.

Or, use this find a legal aid solicitor tool to contact a solicitor directly to see if you qualify for legal aid. If you do, they will also be able to help you apply for legal aid.

If you do not qualify for legal aid, you may be able to find a free initial consultation with a solicitor. Use the Law Society’s find a solicitor tool or the Chambers and Partners legal directory.

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Finding a barrister

Barristers are lawyers who represent you in court. They also carry out other types of legal work. If you have a solicitor representing you, speak to them about how to get a barrister. Normally, your solicitor will advise you and also tell (instruct) a barrister on what to say in court.

Use the Direct Access Scheme’s portal to see if you can instruct a barrister directly yourself.

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Free legal advice and representation

Some organisations give free advice and legal representation. They usually can only take on specific kinds of casework. Still, it can be worth contacting them to see if they can help with your issue.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice give free, confidential and independent advice from over 3,000 locations. They can help people resolve their debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems.

Use website or phone to find nearest service. Advice is available face-to-face and by telephone.

Law Centres Network

Law Centres are charities which give legal advice, do casework and represent people and groups. Use the Law Centres Network website to find your nearest Law Centre.

  • Telephone (general enquiries no advice): 020 3637 1330
  • Email: info@lawcentres.org.uk or query form online
  • Address: Law Centres Network, Floor 1, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA


LawWorks is a charity in England and Wales. They connect volunteer lawyers to people who can’t pay lawyers and don’t get legal aid.

  • Email: query form online (general enquiries, no advice)
  • Address: Law Works, DX 115, 50-52 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1HL


Advocate represents people for free. They help people who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford lawyers. However, you must first be referred to Advocate to get representation. A referrer could be a lawyer, MP or advice agency (Citizens Advice Bureau or Law Centre).

  • Telephone: 020 7092 3960 (Lines open Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm)
  • Email: enquiries@weareadvocate.org.uk or query form online
  • Address: Advocate DX, 50-52 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1HL

Free Representation Unit

The Free Representation Unit (FRU) represents people in social security and employment tribunal hearings for free. They help people who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford lawyers. Cases must be referred to them through one of their referral agencies, which you can find here.

  • Telephone: 020 7611 9555 (Lines open Monday to Friday between 2pm – 5pm)
  • Address: The Free Representation Unit, 10/11 Gray’s Inn, London, WC1R 5JD

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Find out more about your rights and how the Human Rights Act protects them

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