Digital services of legal aid offices
Digital services of legal aid offices provide clients with alternative ways to access and use legal aid services. It is no longer necessary in all cases to visit a legal aid office, but it is possible to receive legal consultation, apply for legal aid, make an appointment, or even handle a case from start to finish by using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a laptop computer.
In the chat service, legal aid attorneys and legal aid secretaries provide general legal consultation and information on legal aid. The chat service does not require any registration or supply of personal information, as all questions are presented anonymously. It is not possible to get an individual, personal case dealt with in the chat service. Instead, legal aid attorneys and secretaries may provide information on what to do with a certain legal problem or recommend that the person obtain a legal counsel to assist him or her in the case. The person may also be advised to apply for legal aid.
The chat service can be accessed via the legal aid website. The service is open weekdays at 10-12. Service in English is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10-12.
If a person needs services of a lawyer, he or she may, under certain conditions concerning his or her financial situation, be entitled to receive legal aid that is either in full or in part paid by the State. By using the legal aid calculator accessible through the e-services, the person may first check whether the conditions set for the financial situation of a legal aid applicant are met. After this, the person may sign on to the system with his or her personal online banking codes and submit an application for legal aid. Information on the person’s income and assets as well as details of the matter for which legal aid is applied must be entered into the application form. The legal aid decision is sent to the applicant as an e-letter. If the person has opened a Citizen’s account, the decision will be made available on the account. Available appointments at legal aid offices may also be browsed and an appointment booked online.
Clients of legal aid offices may also in many cases have their matter dealt with as a remote service. The use of the remote service means that the client meets the legal aid attorney or secretary via video link. Therefore, matters where a signature of both the client and the attorney is required, for example, cannot be dealt with as a remote service. The legal aid office establishes the possibilities to use the remote service on a case by case basis.
The client himself or herself cannot contact the office via video link, but a remote meeting is always agreed on over the telephone or in person, after which the office sends an online meeting invitation to the client’s email. To be able to use the remote service, the client must have an email account and a computer or mobile device equipped with internet connection, camera, microphone, and loudspeaker or headphones. Furthermore, the use of the online meeting service may require that the client download the Skype for Business application (free of charge) on his or her own device.