Information for the legal profession on doing civil legal aid work
Most civil legal aid work is done by solicitors working in law centres who are employees of the Legal Aid Board. You can find out about any current recruitment opportunities here.
Solicitor panels for civil legal aid work
In some cases, we refer persons who have been granted legal aid to private solicitors. We have set up three panels of solicitors who provide services on behalf of the Board in:
> divorce and judicial separation cases in the Circuit Court;
> applications under the Domestic Violence Act 1996, Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 and Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 in the District Court; and
> appeals of refusals of asylum status in the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, applications for subsidiary protection and appeals to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, and applications for leave to remain in the State.
How do I get on the one of the panels for civil legal aid work?
Each panel has terms and conditions which you must accept prior to signing up. You should fill out an application form (available by phoning 066 9471000 or emailing email@example.com) and return it to the Board.
Please note that membership of any panel is in the name of the individual solicitor and not the firm. Firms in which more than one solicitor intends to join a panel should send separate application forms in respect of each solicitor. While each panel is a national one, solicitors are given the opportunity when completing the application form to indicate the counties where they are willing to provide representation.
Applications for the District Court or the asylum and related matters panels should be sent to the Legal Aid Board, Quay Street, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry V23 RD36 (DX 166 004 CAHIRCIVEEN).
Applications for the divorce and separation panel are currently closed.
How do applicants get referred to a solicitor on the panel?
In all cases, applications for legal services are made to a law centre. If a person is granted legal aid, they may be dealt with by the law centre or, if the case fits in to one of the categories above, they can be referred to a private solicitor who is on the relevant panel. It is the law centre's choice as to whether any particular person in any particular case will be referred to a private solicitor.
If a decision is made to refer the person to a private solicitor, the person will be given a legal aid certificate and a list of solicitors willing to provide representation in the county where their court venue is. It is the person's choice as to which solicitor from the panel they engage.
How do I get paid?
When the case is over, you should return a copy of the legal aid certificate together with a completed Claim Form to the Legal Aid Board, Quay Street, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry V23 RD36.
You can find out more about what the fees are for any particular piece of civil legal aid work by checking the schedule to the relevant terms and conditions. The District Court fees are here, the Circuit Court fees are here, and the asylum fees are here.
A law centre or a solicitor who does civil legal aid work can only brief a barrister who is a member of the Board's barristers' panel. There is one barristers' panel, which covers all types of civil legal aid work.
If you are interested in joining the panel, complete an application form. You must agree to the terms and conditions of membership of the panel. The application form should be sent to Legal Services, Legal Aid Board, Quay St, Cahirciveen, Co Kerry V23 RD36. Details of the operation of the panel, including the fee structure are set out in the terms and conditions.
Application - Legal Aid Board Barristers Panel Word (File size 22.7 KB)
Application - Legal Aid Board Barristers Panel PDF (File size 10.7 KB)
Terms and Conditions for the retention of Counsel (Barristers) Word (File size 62.1 KB)
Terms and Conditions for the retention of Counsel (Barristers) PDF (File size 65.0 KB)