Free legal assistance

The LawWorks Not-for-Profits Programme will close for new applications on Thursday 17th December, the service will reopen on Monday 4 January 2021.

Please note, any applications received after Wednesday 9th December 2020 will not be processed until the New Year.

The Not-for-Profits Programme helps connect volunteer solicitors with small not-for-profit organisations in need of legal advice

“Many small voluntary organisations can barely meet their core costs let alone pay for legal advice - LawWorks is an invaluable service.” (Not-for-Profits Programme applicant)

How it works

Where a not-for-profit organisation needs or thinks it may need legal assistance, we can match eligible organisations with a volunteer solicitor. The advice is given for free (pro bono). 

Click into the boxes below for further information.

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Have you checked our free legal videos first?

Our "Free Talks" are short online videos presented by solicitors about common legal issues faced by small not-for-profit organisations.

The videos are all free to watch and aim to help you when making important legal decisions.

Before filling out an application form for the Not-for-Profits Programme, first check that your query isn't covered by our Free Talks. 

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Who can we help?

The LawWorks Not-for-Profits Programme helps small not-for-profit organisations which predominantly benefit vulnerable or disadvantaged individuals in England and Wales.

We also have other eligibility criteria which determine whether we can assist an organisation. Please read these in full.

Due to policy reasons and the types of matters our volunteers are willing or able to assist with, there are unfortunately some occasions when we cannot help. These are also explained in the eligibility criteria.

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What can we help with?

Please check our eligibility criteria, which explain the organisations we can assist and the areas of law we can assist with. The webpage answers the following questions:

  • Which types of organisation can LawWorks assist?
  • Is your organisation financially eligible?
  • Are your beneficiaries or service users vulnerable or disadvantaged?
  • Which areas of law can our volunteers advise on?
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What can't we help with?

Our eligibility criteria explain the organisations and the areas of law we cannot assist with, either for policy and funding reasons or because our volunteers do not have the relevant expertise.

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Does your organisation have a one-off legal issue?

Our Casework service finds volunteer solicitors to assist not-for-profits with one-off legal issues. Some examples include:

  • Drafting a contract;
  • Reviewing a lease;
  • Updating a constitution/articles; or
  • Clarifying rights in a dispute.

For a full list of the legal areas our volunteers cover, please see our eligibility criteria.

Please note, the Casework service brokers legal assistance for one issue at a time. Separate issues can relate to different areas of law and require different volunteer solicitors, therefore requiring separate application forms.

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Does your organisation need long-term legal advice?

Our Honorary Counsel service helps small not-for-profit organisations identify potential legal issues before they arise, so they can become more self-sufficient in relation to legal matters. LawWorks matches eligible organisations with volunteer solicitors (the “Honorary Counsel”), to work together on a long-term basis.

The Honorary Counsel has two main functions:

  • To carry out a basic review of the not-for-profit organisation’s main documents, to identify obvious gaps or general issues to be aware of; and 
  • To provide ongoing advice  to the not-for-profit on a longer-term basis.

Find out more information about the Honorary Counsel service.

How to apply

Applying for help is simple. Once you have read our eligibility criteria, if you believe you meet the requirements you can click the button below to begin the process of applying for Casework or Honorary Counsel.

APPLY HERE

 

Contact us

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 about the Not-for-Profits Programme, you can email us at: [email protected]