Our History

Starting life in 1975, The Disability Law Service was originally run on a voluntary part-time basis at a Camden community centre, providing face-to-face advice at weekly drop in sessions.
The demand for DLS’s advice and guidance grew quickly, and funding was obtained allowing the acquisition of an office and employment of full time solicitors.

80s & 90s

During the 1990s DLS evaluated the needs of its service users and provided more specialised advice in areas of public and social welfare law. In 1996 a successful application to the National Lottery Charities Board resulted in DLS recruiting a full time Discrimination Law solicitor who specialised in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA). The DDA solicitor set up the DDA Advisers Group and participated in other relevant forums concerned with fighting discrimination, in addition to delivering much needed specialist training.


By 1999 DLS was employing Community Care, Consumer / Contract, Education, Employment, and Welfare Benefits legal advisers.

In 2000 the Legal Services Commission awarded DLS a civil, not for profit contract in all five areas of law and that same year DLS moved from their over-crowded offices in Holborn to fully accessible premises in Whitechapel, East London.

For the rest of the decade, DLS moved from strength to strength. In addition to consulting with the government on key disability legislation, DLS continued to win judgments that improve the lives and life chances of disabled people.


Having moved into its current location at the Human Rights and Social Justice Centre at the Foundry near the Oval, DLS remains true to its original aim and maintains the provision of specialist high quality advice for all Disabled people, their families and carers. We also developed bespoke training packages, support and resources for charities and corporations. We believe that by equipping other organisations with the necessary knowledge and skills, we can reach more Disabled people with legal advice, helping to promote equality and justice.


In the last few years we have continued to develop our vital free advice services for Disabled people across the UK. We have recently been successful in securing legal aid contracts in public law and discrimination, and will be launching these services shortly. Through training and partnership work, we continue to support external organisations to build their own capacity to help service users and are currently working with another DDPO to create a model that empowers civil society organisations to become legal advice hubs for their local Disabled residents.

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