Do You Need a Lawyer?

Unfortunately,Just an Ordinary Citizen isn’t able to take on individual cases or provide ongoing legal support.

If you think you might need a lawyer to take on your case or represent you in court, there are various options.

  • The Legal Choices website can help you understand if you need a lawyer, what types of legal services are available and how these can be funded.
  • If you already know you need a lawyer, you can use the information below to help you find one.


Depending on what your legal issue is, you might be entitled to legal aid, meaning you could get 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.


The rules on criminal legal aid are complex, so the best thing to do is to speak to a criminal law solicitor who can provide advice on your specific circumstances.

To find a criminal law solicitor, use the Law Society’s find a solicitor tool and select “Crime”.


To find out whether you may be eligible for legal aid for your particular legal issue, use the government’s online legal aid tool.

Alternatively, you could contact a solicitor directly to find out if you qualify for legal aid. They will also be able to help you apply for legal aid if you qualify. Use this find a legal aid solicitor tool.

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.


Barristers are specialist lawyers who can represent you in court as well as carrying out other types of legal work. If you have a solicitor representing you in relation to your legal issue, you should speak to them about how to get a barrister.

It may also be possible for you to instruct a barrister directly yourself under the Direct Access scheme. You can find qualified Direct Access barristers on the Bar Council’s Direct Access Portal.


Some organisations provide free advice and legal representation. There are usually limits on the kinds of casework they can take on, but it is worth contacting them to see if they can help with your issue.


Citizens Advice provide free, confidential and independent advice from over 3,000 locations. Helps 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 are charities which offer legal advice, casework and representation to individuals and groups within their local communities. Law Centres Network itself does not give advice, but can help you find your nearest Law Centre.

  • Telephone (general enquiries no advice): 020 3637 1330
  • Email: or query form online
  • Web:  (law centre locator service)
  • Address: Law Centres Network, Floor 1, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA


LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay and with the not-for-profit organisations that support them.


Advocate can provide free representation to people who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford lawyers. All applications for representation must be made through a referrer such as 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: or query form online
  • Web:
  • Address: Advocate DX, 50-52 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1HL


The Free Representation Unit (FRU) can provide free representation to people in social security and employment tribunal hearings. 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 2:00pm and 5:00pm)
  • Web:
  • Address: The Free Representation Unit, 10/11 Gray’s Inn, London, WC1R 5JD