You can only provide legal aid services if you have approval and a valid contract with the Secretary for Justice.
To be approved, you need to apply to us showing that you have the relevant skills, experience and business systems to effectively represent your clients.
Lawyers can be approved to provide legal aid services in the following areas of law:
Lawyers can also apply for approval as a supervised provider, a duty lawyer, a provider of the Police Detention Legal Assistance Service (PDLA), or a provider of the Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS).
There are a number of different types of approval depending on your level of legal experience and the circumstances of your application.
Most lawyers who work on legal aid cases are approved as lead providers. Lead providers are experienced lawyers, who have demonstrated their knowledge and skill across the area/s of law they are approved in. The lead provider is responsible for all work undertaken on legal aid cases that are assigned to them.
Supervised providers are lawyers who have demonstrated they meet the criteria in the quality assurance regulations but don’t yet have the required experience or competence to be approved as a lead provider. Approval as a supervised provider is subject to the requirement that the supervised provider is supervised by, and responsible to, an approved lead provider.
In certain specific circumstances, lawyers may need to seek approval to provide legal aid services on a limited or ‘one-off’ basis.
After a lawyer is approved to provide legal aid services, a contract which sets out the following is needed:
If you are an existing legal aid lawyer, use these forms to tell us about any changes:
The Legal Aid Provider Services team can help you with any queries you have about your approvals as a legal aid lawyer.
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