Access to law and justice are human rights. Everyone is therefore entitled to these. If your income is (too) low, this right is jeopardised. Therefore, in such a case, you can appeal to a lawyer (partially or totally) free of charge. This is called a pro bono lawyer. As with any lawyer, your lawyer will provide legal advice, assistance and representation. The latter is also paid by the government, so you should not worry about money to pay a lawyer.
Am I entitled to a free lawyer?
What the maximum limit of your income may be depends on your family situation. This determines whether you can get a completely free, or partially free, lawyer.
By the way, if you are entitled to partial free assistance, you will have to pay an amount between €25 and €125 to your lawyer. This is normal. The lawyer may only act after receiving that amount.
How can I get a free lawyer?
You can appeal to a free lawyer through second-line legal assistance. This is organised at each bar, by the Legal Aid Bureau (BJB).
If you think you are entitled to a (partly) free lawyer, you know two things to do:
- You go to such a BJB and they will assign you a pro bono who will support you
- You go directly to a lawyer and ask them if they will take your case as pro bono.
Find a Bar and BJB near you here and the contact details of the Legal Aid Bureau associated with that Bar will appear.
Want to be helped quickly? Bring the right documents!
With the second-line legal aid application form and additional documents, you will be helped faster because you have already gathered all the necessary information yourself. This is the case both with a BJB and with a lawyer yourself.
Attention: be sure to also check whether you have legal expenses insurance. If so, a lawyer will be (re)paid and you will not need a pro bono lawyer.