Civil Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) profile
The commencement of Part V of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act in 2001, paved the way for the provision of civil legal assistance by solicitors directly employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.
The principal objective of the Part V programme is to provide civil legal assistance to address unmet legal need. Much of this work has focused on meeting the needs of vulnerable client groups.
The programme involves a broad range of activity where work is carried out by solicitors working in partnership with others. This includes liaising with voluntary and public sector agencies, as well as working with private sector legal services to provide legal advice that is appropriate to the client's needs. The work of CLAO solicitors involves a mixture of direct casework, provision of support and advice to other advisers, delivery of training, and contributing to social policy work.
The programme has developed over time and we now have around 14 solicitors plus support staff working in our offices in Inverness, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Lochgilphead.