Free Legal Advice in Scotland

Outstanding Pro Bono Initiatives, Legal Clinics, Lawyers, and Organisations in Scotland

Within our exhaustive directory of fantastic lawyers and law firms, we have begun a new initiative that takes into account the ongoing legal aid challenges and the ever-present cost of living issues.

Our goal is to highlight those who really provide free legal advice in Scotland to improve access to justice and access to effective legal help.

Despite the fact that stalwart institutions such as Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland (‘CAB’ – see below for contact information) have long advocated for the provision of free legal counsel to the public, we recognise that even these venerable institutions may be limited in the purview of services they can offer.

Complex or specialised legal issues frequently necessitate the assistance of other providers, lawyers and law firms. And this trend is especially evident in Scotland’s main cities, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness where University Law Clinics have been established to support the cause.

For Scotland specifically, here are some of the top free legal advice providers, including various leading University law clinics:-

Free Legal Advice in and around Glasgow

Govan Law Centre Free Legal Advice Glasgow Scotland

Govan Law Centre – Govan Law Centre (GLC), led by leading Scottish Solicitor Mike Dailly, is an independent organization using the law to end poverty and discrimination. Contact them at 0800 043 0306. As GLC note on their About Page, “we are a free legal resource. Through the legal practice of Dailly & Co., Solicitors. We undertake expert advice, court and tribunal representation in Scotland. GLC is a member of Glasgow City Council’s Glasgow Advice Partnership (GAP) which part funds its work across the south and east of Glasgow.” They “use the law to challenge poverty, discrimination and disadvantage…[and] specialise in housing, landlord and tenant, homelessness, welfare rights, money advice, social services, consumer and debt.” They also have a education law unit and we do a lot of work with carers and around mental health. They also have a project for private sector tenants. The GLC site includes a very useful Help & Resources Portal here.

Govanhill Law Centre – Also led by leading Scottish Solicitor Mike Dailly, Govanhill Law Centre (GhLC) opened in 2008 in Scotland’s most ethnically diverse areas. GhLC was opened by Lord Advocate, Eilish Angiolini. The original funders included: Scottish Government, Oxfam and UNISON the public services trade union. Their work in Govanhill is now funded by the Oak Foundation, the Robertson Trust and GLC and they provide some services funded by Glasgow City Council in north east of city. Govanhill is on the Southside of Glasgow and they we opened the law centre it was a bid to tackle private sector slum landlords and agency gangmasters. GhLC’s aim is still to “root out discrimination and exploitation” and improve the wellbeing of local people.

University of Strathclyde Law Clinic Free Legal Advice Glasgow Scotland

University of Strathclyde Law Clinic – The University of Strathclyde Law Clinic provides access to justice in Glasgow and surrounding areas. “The Law Clinic offers free advice to those who cannot get advice elsewhere.  The service is run by volunteer law students working under the supervision of suitably qualified staff. There are three ways to obtain legal advice from the Law Clinic namely our Online Service, our Initial Advice Clinics and our Advice and Representation service. Which one is most appropriate depends on a number of factors such as the complexity of the case, the urgency of the issue, or the area of law involved. See details below of each service and how to access them.” They may be able to provide legal advice on the following in and around Glasgow:- Employment law, Housing issues (e.g. private rented tenancy disputes), Consumer issues, Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)

Scottish Young Lawyers’ Association Free Legal Advice Clinics – The Scottish Young Lawyers’ Association hosts free legal advice clinics.

The Law Clinic at Glasgow Caledonian University – The Law Clinic at Glasgow Caledonian University offers free legal advice and assistance.

Castlemilk Law & Money Advice Centre – “is a community controlled law centre providing legal advice and representation on social security, housing law, debt and employment law. We also provide advice on women’s rights and disability rights…We generally take on clients from South East Glasgow.”

Free Legal Advice in and around Edinburgh / Fife / St Andrews

Edinburgh Law School Free Legal Advice Centre Scotland

Free Legal Advice Centre at Edinburgh Law School – The Free Legal Advice Centre at Edinburgh Law School provides free legal advice to the public. The Free Legal Advice Centre delivers pro bono legal services to members of the public living in and around the Edinburgh area who, for whatever reason, cannot access legal advice elsewhere. Student advisers, members of staff and qualified solicitors work together to offer advice on legal problems. They may be able to provide advice and assistance on the following in and around Edinburgh: Company & Commercial, Contract, Disputes, Employment, Family, Property, Intellectual Property, Landlord and Tenant, Wills and Inheritance, Personal Injury

Fife Law Centre – “We are a team of solicitors who provide free legal advice and representation for the people in Fife who need it most.”

University of St Andrews Free Student Legal Advice – Information on free legal advice in and around St Andrews

Scottish Child Law Centre – Free Expert Legal Advice About Children’s Rights And Child Law In Scotland

Free Legal Advice in Dundee

Dundee Law Centre – “We are a team of solicitors who provide specialist legal advice to people across Dundee. We want to live in a society where people’s rights are upheld, their needs met and they are enabled to thrive.”

Free Legal Advice in and around Aberdeen

The Law Clinic at Robert Gordon University (RGU) – The Law Clinic at RGU provides access to free legal advice.

Free Legal Advice Across Scotland

While the above organisations may be able to help you or to point you in the right direction regardless of where you live in Scotland, the following help Scotland-wide:-

Citizen’s Advice Scotland – “If you have a problem that you need help with, you may need legal advice to resolve it. You can get help from a legal adviser who specialises in your problem such as a solicitor, or other organisations may be able to help you. Using a solicitor usually involves some expense but you may be eligible for help with legal costs.”

Shelter Scotland – Provides free housing and homelessness advice for people in need in Scotland.

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre – Based in Glasgow and Edinburgh – “offering services dedicated to black and minority ethnic communities.”

Help with a legal problem from the Scottish Government – “If you have a problem, you may need legal advice to resolve it. You can get advice from a solicitor but you should be aware that legal aid is not always free. There may be other organisations who can give you free advice.”

The Faculty of Advocates Scotland Free Legal Services Unit

Free Legal Services Unit from the Faculty of Advocates “The Free Legal Services Unit was established by the Scottish Bar to provide free legal advice and representation by volunteer advocates for those who cannot afford the legal help they need, and who cannot obtain assistance from any other source…The Unit has a list of accredited advice agencies and it is through referrals by those agencies that applications for members of the public are considered.  if conditions are met and a case is taken on, our volunteer advocates can: Give ADVICE to people – either in the form of a written opinion or verbal advice at consultation; or REPRESENT them in any Court or Tribunal in Scotland; or Provide assistance with MEDIATION” Please note that applications to the Unit can only be made through an accredited advice agency, here is a list: List of accredited agencies Individuals should not submit requests for free legal advice directly to the Unit.”


Free Expert Legal Advice from the Scottish Child Law CentreFree Expert Legal Advice About Children’s Rights And Child Law In Scotland – We provide free and confidential legal advice by phone and email about Scots law relating to children and young people. Every phone call and email we get is answered by a qualified solicitor.”

Do Scottish Law Firms Provide Free Legal Services?

It is essential to recognise that comprehensive free legal services from law firms are uncommon, given their specialised expertise and extensive training. However, inspired by the commendable work of Delia Venables and Nick Holmes, who have maintained a list of free legal advice providers on the Venables website for years, we have, with our list above, begun identifying a select group of solicitors and law firms that offer pro bono legal assistance to disadvantaged individuals and communities, with a focus on Scotland’s urban hubs and surrounding areas.

Recognising the Boundaries of Providers of Free Legal Advice

Given the likelihood that numerous firms offer complimentary legal counsel, we anticipate that this list will expand beyond the initial entries. Despite the fact that free legal advice is an invaluable resource, it is essential to remember that it has inherent limitations. Depending on your location, the specific legal issue at hand, and the specifics of your case, it may be necessary to retain private legal counsel.

Scotland-Focused Pro Bono / Free Legal Advice Entities and Organisations in the United Kingdom

While above we have listed some of the most prominent free legal advice providers in the United Kingdom, along with brief descriptions of the legal matters they may assist with, we’re aware that there will be others and, indeed, law firms who provide initial free legal advice. Additionally, if you believe that your law firm or individual solicitors in Scotland, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Inverness, Highlands, Dumfries & Galloway or elsewhere in Scotland, can provide pro bono legal advice worthy of recognition please let us know.

If you think you can help us improve the information or contact details for anyone or any organisation in Scotland who can really make a difference in providing free legal advice or representation whether on a government funded or pro bono basis or otherwise please do not hesitate to contact our Editor, Gavin Ward, here.

We hope to make this a valuable place for people most in need of access to justice in Scotland.

P.S. Our expanding free legal advice directories includes not only a listing of free legal advice providers in the UK, but also those in Canada, Australia, and the United States.

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