Legal aid deserts

In large areas of England and Wales, people cannot access legal aid advice for housing or community care. Our legal aid deserts campaign raises awareness of the negative impact caused by reductions in legal aid funding.
Map showing areas of England and Wales with 6 of fewer housing legal aid providers (March 2023) - most of the map is red or orange to show a shortage or desert

Legal aid deserts mean that people on low incomes facing important legal issues are struggling to get the local face-to-face advice they're legally entitled to.

In February 2024, we updated our five heat maps showing the shortage of providers across the country for:

The maps were first published in September 2021, following on from our maps in 2020 and 2019 showing shortages in community care and housing law.

We also published a review on the sustainability of the civil legal aid system.

Read our report

Our campaign

Following a campaign by the Law Society, the government has announced the launch of a long-overdue review into the sustainability of civil legal aid contracts, running from March 2023 to late 2024.

Read more on the civil legal aid review

We’re calling on the government to invest immediately in civil legal aid so people can get legal help for life-changing issues while the review takes place.

We've also started our own research project to explore solutions and lead the debate on how to make our justice system fit for the future.

Find out more about our 21st Century Justice project

Get involved

If you’re a legal professional, we’d like you to share examples of the damage that legal aid deserts have caused in your local area.

Email the campaigns team

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