The Central App

Law: What is legal aid?

The Central App

Bridget Liggins - Checketts McKay Law

15 April 2024, 4:42 AM

Law: What is legal aid?What is legal aid?

Legal Aid, provided by the Ministry of Justice, offers government funded legal representation to those who meet the applicable financial thresholds and circumstances

Despite common misconceptions, Legal Aid is not free, rather it is considered a loan; those in receipt of Legal Aid may need to repay some or all of the fees under their grant of Legal Aid.


In some situations, if you own a home, you may have to authorise a charge over your home as security for your Legal Aid, any debt owing under your grant of Legal Aid would likely need to be repaid upon the sale of that home.

Legal Aid is available for an array of areas of law, including but not limited to, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, and Family Law. Firms who offer Legal Aid may do so in one or more of these areas of law.


Usually with Criminal Law, where you are facing a charge or charges carrying a maximum penalty of less than 10 years imprisonment, you would be assigned a lawyer upon the approval of your Application for Criminal Legal Aid, whereas with Family Law, you can approach a lawyer who provides Family Law Legal Aid and ask for them to be assigned on your matter(s).

Legal Aid is a great resource that allows you to get the legal advice and representation you may require, whilst taking into account your financial and personal circumstances. At Checketts McKay Law we offer Legal Aid for Criminal and Family Law, so it always pays to ask whether you would qualify for Legal Aid, so we can best assist you.