Not-for-Profits programme: Eligibility criteria

Where LawWorks can help

The LawWorks Not-for-Profits Programme helps small not-for-profit organisations whose ultimate beneficiaries are predominantly vulnerable or disadvantaged people in England and Wales.

Organisation type

We only provide assistance to not-for-profit organisations, including but not limited to charitable companies limited by guarantee, community interest companies (CICs), charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs), and unincorporated associations.

Financial status

The not-for-profit organisation must be unable to afford legal advice.  If the organisation’s annual income is less than £500,000 LawWorks will presume an inability to pay, but will still require documentary evidence of the organisation’s annual income.  If the organisation’s income is over this £500,000 threshold, LawWorks will consider the application if it includes information as to why the organisation is unable to afford legal advice.  LawWorks is unlikely to approve the application if the income is in excess of £1,000,000.

Who the organisation helps

LawWorks assesses an organisation’s eligibility primarily on the basis of its beneficiaries: the individuals it helps and the way it helps them.  The ultimate beneficiaries of the not-for-profit organisations should be predominantly vulnerable or disadvantaged individuals.

Organisations will generally be eligible for help if they provide activities like the following illustrative examples:

  1. working with the homeless;
  2. helping children or young people at risk;
  3. improving the employability of current and/or ex-offenders;
  4. supporting people with physical or mental disabilities or health conditions;
  5. working with refugees or asylum seekers;
  6. responding to the discrimination of people of a specific group;
  7. working with people affected by poverty and/or living in deprived neighbourhoods;
  8. providing community support to isolated elderly people;
  9. advising or providing educational services to people at risk of exploitation; or
  10. improving access to justice.

Application forms should include as much information and examples as to how the organisation meets these criteria.  

Areas of law

Our volunteers can advise eligible organisations on intellectual property, employment, property, tax, commercial/contract, insurance, insolvency, data protection, defamation, and company law.  Our volunteers can also advise on amending or updating articles.

Where LawWorks cannot help

For policy reasons we are unfortunately unable to accept applications from:

  • animal welfare organisations;
  • organisations predominantly focussed on benefitting communities outside England and Wales;
  • professional/trade associations; and
  • organisations whose primary purpose or activity is campaigning or lobbying.

If your organisation is one of the above, we recommend browsing our alternate resources here.


For capacity reasons we are unable to respond to email queries regarding eligibility.  If you are not certain if your organisation qualifies for free legal assistance please apply and we will work with you to determine your eligibility.

If you have any other questions, please contact us at: [email protected]