Introduction There is a widespread public perception (in some cases shared by advisers and community organisations) that legal aid is no longer available for anything other than criminal cases. Legal Action's new 'Use it or lose it' series will show that legal aid remains widely available in civil cases for many who need it, both to obtain advice and to take and defend legal proceedings. In this article, the authors use the term 'legal aid' to cover both legal help and civil legal aid representation, unless otherwise indicated.   Any reader of the most recent annual statistics on legal aid ...