Richmond Legal Advice Service

How RLAS provides its advice service

This page provides information on how Richmond Legal Advice Service (RLAS) sees and helps clients:

How to find RLAS

For details on our location, how to reach us, how to access/use the premises RLAS uses and maps go to the Our Location page

Helping us to help you

Before coming to a RLAS advice session, the following are some of the things a client can do to maximise the benefit they will get at an advice session:

Some limitations

Below are some limitations about the extent to which we can help you and our ability to see all clients

Limitation on the extent we can help a client

Because of the limited time available it may mean that an adviser cannot give a definitive view on your problem.

If the problem is legally complex or there are a lot of facts or papers to go through then sometimes all the adviser we can do at that session is to try to give a “common sense” answer pointers or refer you on.

No legal adviser can hope to be an expert or to have detailed knowledge on all areas of law.

Therefore, if you problem concerns an area of law which is outside the experience of the volunteers present on the night a client attends, RLAS may not be able to help at that session and the client may need to return or go to another advice agency.

We do not (and are not able) to ‘take on’ cases in the same way that a firm of solicitors can. We cannot prepare letters, fill in forms or prepare any documents for you or on your behalf. If you do need to write a letter, fill in a form or prepare a document, then we can make some suggestions (which you may or may not choose to adopt) regarding the content and format, but only while you are with the legal adviser during the very limited time he or she can spend with you (about 10–15 minutes). Our legal advisers may look at a letter, form or document you have prepared and suggest amendments, but again only during the limited time the legal adviser can spend with you.

Because we are only open one evening a week, we also cannot provide or confirm in writing what a legal advisor has discussed with, or told, you.

Limitation on RLAS’ ability to see clients

RLAS aims to see all clients that come to a session. RLAS does not have a booking system, it is a drop-in clinic service. However, the number of clients who come to sessions keeps increasing.

For example RLAS is now seeing more than 3 times the number of clients it saw in 2010. Some weeks more than 15 people come seeking our help. We have tried to meet this increase by having more volunteer lawyers available at an advice session.

However, please bear the following in mind:

Last updated: 11 April 2017