... legal aid
The reason for applying for legal aid is usually disagreement with someone else, for example in connection with your work. Before you go to get advice, you must be able to formulate precisely what is the matter. Is it about your employment contract? About renting a working space? About a freelance job? Are you not getting paid? Copyright problems? Are you being held personally liable for damage? Or is it about a combination of problems? Separating your feelings from the business issues is also an art. A willing ear can often help to throw light on the problem.
There is a great deal that you can do yourself to prevent a legal conflict, such as recording agreements in writing. Don’t forget to ask yourself each time: if the other party were to prove unreliable (which he isn’t), what would I want to have down on paper? Legal advice at that moment often produces more results than when the situation is in danger of getting out of hand.
Legal action: very often necessary and useful, but sometimes not at all
Sometimes you want to know the legal aspects of a problem or conflict situation. You have read the relevant information on this site, and you want to check whether your reasoning is correct. Or you can’t apply the text to your own situation. Or you want someone to represent you. The purpose of legal aid in all these situations is to make you stronger vis-à-vis the other party. The advice gives you more information to resolve the issue or strategic tips for a good solution.
Sometimes bringing in legal aid is called for, but you have to resolve the disagreement in some other way because is damages the relation with your contract partner, or because the tone of the legal language sounds too aggressive. In that case it is better to bring in someone else, such as a mediator, or a mediator with legal training. Then other interests apparently play a more important role than being proved in the right. The legal approach is not successful either if you are unable to prove what you have to be able to prove.
You can apply for legal advice from the Legal Advice Bureau (Juridisch Loket), trade unions, professional organisations, or your legal aid insurance company if you have taken out legal expenses insurance. You usually have to be a member of a trade union or professional organisation in order to be able to use their advisory services. Legal aid insurance companies are mainly involved in legal proceedings, but they sometimes also offer useful advice if you envisage a problem.