What is a law centre?
A law centre is a Legal Aid Board public office which provides legal aid and legal advice on matters of civil law to people who cannot afford to pay for a solicitor privately. You can find information about where our offices are located at www.legalaidboard.ie
Most of the law centres deal with a wide range of civil matters. To improve its service delivery in certain matters, the Board has established a number of specialised services:-
Medical Negligence and Personal Injuries Unit, Law Centre (Montague Court)
Law Centre (Montague Court) in Dublin operates as a law centre specialising in medical negligence and personal injuries cases.
Dolphin House Service
This is a dedicated service for the Dublin area based at the District Court, Dolphin House, East Essex Street, Dublin D02 RR76. The centre is a specialist service dealing with private family law matters in the District Court - generally applications for domestic violence orders, care of children, and maintenance for spouses and children - by referring persons to a private practitioner. è Chapter 6 deals with the Dolphin House Service in greater detail.
Childcare Unit, Chancery Street
As part of the dedicated District Court service for the Dublin area, we established a dedicated childcare unit operating as a specialist law centre at the District Court, Chancery Street, Dublin D07 A599. This deals with applications for legal aid by parents whose children are the subject of an application by Tusla either to take them into care or to supervise them in their own homes.
International protection cases
A specialised service which provides legal services to persons applying for international protection and in appropriate cases, on immigration, deportation and matters relating to human trafficking is provided by Dublin Smithfield, Cork Popes Quay and Galway Seville House law centres.
Co-location of law and mediation centres
We have established an integrated law and mediation centre in Kilkenny, with the goal of promoting mediation as an option for the resolution of family disputes. There are other locations, such as Dublin Jervis Street, where separate law centres and mediation offices are co-located in the same building.
In this Handbook, the term “law centre“ is used to refer to all Legal Aid Board offices where legal services are provided to members of the public, regardless of their title, and including for most purposes (save where there is a specific reference to tasks that must be undertaken by solicitors) the Dolphin House Service.