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What are the requirements for a consulting certificate and what documents do I need?

There is a maximum income and asset limit for the approval of a consulting certificate for legal consulting assistance. Pensioners, unemployed persons, recipients of social assistance or benefits from the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) generally fulfil this requirement. If you want to make sure that a consulting certificate is granted before applying for it, you can use a legal aid calculator to find out: Individuals who would receive free legal aid can also obtain a legal fee financial aid permit. In addition, there must be no other possibility of free consultation/representation in the extrajudicial matter (e.g. through trade unions, legal aid insurance). Another prerequisite is that the competent local court has not already approved or rejected a consulting certificate for legal consulting assistance in the same matter.

If you wish to apply for a consulting certificate from the legal aid application centre at the local court, you must bring the following documents with you:

  • A valid identification document (identity card, residence permit, passport, …)
  • Your current income statement and that of your spouse (e.g. pay slip, notification from the employment agency or job centre)
  • Potentially proof of maintenance obligations
  • Potentially proof of other monthly payment obligations
  • Bank statements of the last 3 months
  • Your current lease agreement and utility bills
  • If applicable, documents relating to the matter (e.g. notice of termination, written warning, etc.)

If your consulting certificate has been approved, you can take it to a lawyer, who may not charge more than 15 euros.