In 2004 Advicenow, a project of the Advice Services Alliance (ASA) began campaigning with Legal Action Group and Citizenship Foundation for public legal education to be recognised as an important element of legal services. As a result, the Ministry of Justice supported the independent PLEAS Task Force which recommended the establishment of a ‘PLE Centre’ to take forward the work of developing public legal education.
The Ministry of justice funded the Public Legal Education Network in 2008. It brought together people working in the field of public legal education in the UK and internationally and built a membership of 500 organisations and individuals from statutory bodies, not-for-profit organisations, legal professionals, researchers, educators and campaigners in the UK and abroad.
After 3 years development as a network, Law for Life was formally constituted as a company limited by guarantee and registered as a charity. In 2013 Advicenow was formally merged with Law for Life.
What is Advicenow?
Advicenow is the Law for Life award-winning website providing a hand-picked and checked information service that draws together the best information about the law and rights available on the internet. We create effective materials that provide practical help on how to manage and resolve life’s legal problems.
In 2017 we won both the Access to Justice through IT Award at Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, and a Plain English Campaign award. So far this year, we've been shortlisted for the BIMA Awards, Product and Service Design: Conscience category.
Advicenow fast facts
- Our Advicenow top picks search service brings together the best information on the law and rights from over 450 UK websites.
- This selection isn’t done by computer; we handpick every link, check that it's up-to-date and covers the important issues.
- We summarise it so that you know whether it is what you are looking for or not.
For more details see About top picks search.
Make sense of the law and your rights: Advicenow guides
'It’s a good job your site is out there offering impartial and useful information on many current life situations. Impartial information is hard to come by, but quality impartial information is even harder. I have signposted many individuals and organisations to your site and they are always impressed.' Counsellor, Derby
- We are fed up with dry legal information that informs but doesn’t offer practical help and guidance. We don't just provide information about the law; we tell people what to do to solve their problem, and how to do it.
- Our guides acknowledge the stress readers are experiencing and offer advice on the practical skills and techniques needed to solve their problem.
- We aren't impartial - we are on your side.
- We use a range of learning techniques to get the message across: clear, straightforward language, jargon-busters, case studies, diagrams, films, example letters, and interactive tools.
- We test our guides with a mixture of individuals and experts before publication to ensure that they are as effective and helpful as possible. And we don’t stop there - we design and test new methods all the time so that we increase our understanding of what works, and our guides get better.
See About Advicenow guides for more information.
- Advicenow won the Access to Justice through IT award, sponsored by the Legal Education Foundation, at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2017.
- Advicenow has won both the Plain English Campaign web award, for the clear language, design and organisation of the site, as well as awards for a number of guides.
- Advicenow was incorporated into Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education in June 2013. Law for Life works to ensure that everybody has the knowledge, confidence and practical skills they need to deal with law-related issues.
- Advicenow was originally founded in 2001 and supported by Advice Services Alliance, the umbrella body for advice networks in England and Wales.
If you have found this website helpful could you help us by making a donation? Just go to our Law for Life MyDonate page. Thank you - it really helps!
- Most of our income comes from grants from trusts and foundations for particular projects.
- We sometimes recieve donations from individuals - for which we are always very grateful.
- We get a small amount for the Minsitry of Justice for our work as part of the Litigant in Person Support Strategy.
- We are sometimes paid by other organisations and charities to help them improve the effectiveness of their information. We use the money raised to keep as much or our information available and up to date as we can.
- We have started to sell three guides to those that can afford it (whilst still giving it away to those that cannot), in order to support our service. We use the money raised to keep as much or our information available and up to date as we can.
Accessibility is very important to us and we have designed our website to be fully accessible.
User friendly design
We have designed our site in an easy and friendly way for users to navigate through. We have included our own guidelines which include:
- Using meaningful ALT text so there is a descriptive alternative for all images.
- Using descriptive hyperlink text.
- Using an easier to read font type, size and colour.
- Using an easy-to-see web colour scheme.
Navigating the site
To navigate through this site, please use the menu on the right hand side, and select a section. If you use a screen reader, it will read the menu to you and provide access to the tools on this page.
We provide many of our publications in PDF format as well as webpages. To read PDF documents you will need Adobe reader software. Download Adobe Acrobat ReaderLink opens in a new window if you haven't got it already.
More information on the accessibility features of our website will follow shortly.
If you would like to comment on our accessibility or how this page of information could be improved, please use the Contact us form - see the link in the footer menu at the bottom of this page.
What Advicenow users say
'Straight, clear advice.'
'I was glad I found your website. It was clear, concise and gave me the answers I needed. I will recommend this website to family, friends and other users.'
'Thank you for the well-written, clear help that you provide. It was comforting and informative. Much appreciated.'
'Website recognises that not everyone can afford a solicitor, and the tone is empathetic and easy to understand.'
‘I am an advice services manager and we love your Advicenow guides!’
‘One of the most helpful websites for people to get practical help and advice. Looks lovely (and it works) on the phone as well.’ From @raymondsheehy via Twitter
‘I know exactly what steps I must take in my attempts to bring resolution.’
‘Thanks for providing this information free of charge. It is appreciated.’
'So happy to find this site, the only agenda being to help people in their time of need. Will pass your details to my friends and family. Huge thank you.'
‘It’s sites like this that help people who don't know who to ask.’
‘All of the guides were extremely easy to understand and more substantially helpful than some professionals I had consulted over the matter!’
'The Survival Guides are really helpful, this has helped me enormously. Equally your website is easy to navigate around, sections are clearly labelled and set out - this has taken away some of the stress in my current situation when I have needed to find out certain information. Thank you.'
'Fantastic resource for people in my situation...can't afford a solicitor!'
Going to court
‘Brilliant and beautiful.’
‘Very informative and incredibly helpful, and that's just from the introduction on representing myself in court.’
Representing yourself in family court film
'Another brilliant film! It helped so much. I had to do my own divorce borrowing money to pay my court fees and even for parking to attend court....after doing my own non molestation orders I needed the support this gave.'
‘I have just viewed your video on presenting ourselves at family court. I was impressed with the advice provided. Your video confirmed what I experienced in court in the UK last year.’
‘When I found this video you made my life so much easier and I thank you for that.'
Applying for a court order about the arrangements for your children without the help of a lawyer
‘This is the best guide I have found on the net and I've looked at a lot. It has all the information needed to help at court and gives confidence.’
How to avoid or deal with benefits sanctions – e-learning course
'I am a welfare benefits adviser and trainer and have worked my way through the module and have found it very interesting and informative! I was wondering if you would have any objections if we shared the module with advisers within the Neighbourhood Office network as I feel they would greatly benefit from this excellent resource.’
‘Just wanted to say thanks for forwarding through the link to the Sanctions e-learning. It’s excellent. I work in a social landlord and have suggested this should be done by all front line customer facing housing staff.’
How to win a PIP appeal
'Very useful. It would be a lot harder without it, for a lot of people - not just me.'
‘It gave me more information than anything else I have read on claiming PIP so I would like to thank you very much.’
'Thank you for publishing such a useful guide; it is a high quality product and will benefit many people. I work for an advice service and we are telling all our clients about it'.
‘Excellent resource-you deserve funding. If my tribunal is successful, expect a donation so you can help advise others like me.’
‘I would like to say thank you for the guide. Our local advice agency are impossible to contact and we were both worrying about the hearing and desperate for advice. Your guide has put both our minds at rest. So a big thank you from both of us!
PIP Mandatory Reconsideration Request Letter Tool
"Thank you - I have just been successful with my Mandatory Reconsideration Request! I used your tool and found it to be a massive help. I attribute my successful outcome for the most part to Advicenow.org.uk."
'Thank you so much for the tool I used for PIP, I have won my case!'
'Thank you. The PIP tool is fantastic!'
'Thank you so much for making this stressful process so easy and accessible! I am so impressed, I was prepared for a few days of research and planning in order to start an appeal but your website and tools are so useful and efficient that after a couple of hours, I am ready to go post my letter. Thank you!!!'
'What a brilliant help tool! We were daunted at the prospect of requesting reconsideration - this followed great disappointment at the letter received from DWP. Now we feel that we have hope. Thank you.'
How to deal with an interview under caution
‘I'm a benefits adviser working for a national disability charity - I can't advise on fraud issues myself. Whenever I get a query about an interview under caution I always signpost to your info on this. I think it is brilliant and so helpful to people.’
‘Clear, simple and easy to find. Feel it's trustworthy information.’
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