THE LAW Society is planning to attack the Government's changes to legal aid, and the Access to Justice Bill, by launching an advertising campaign.

David McNeill, head of press at the Law Society, says talks are underway with shortlisted advertising agencies.

He says the focus of the campaign will be aimed the general public. “Legal aid is an important public service, which is there to help people at crisis point,” he says.

“It is a system that has value and should not be thrown away for the bureaucratic convenience of a legal aid super quango.”

A spokeswoman at the Lord Chancellor's Department says: “It is the Law Society's prerogative to campaign on a particular issue – it is the nature of a democracy.”

The campaign will be the Law Society's second brush with advertising.

In 1996, the soc iety appointed advertising agency J Walter Thompson in a multimillion pound attempt to improve the image of solicitors thr ough television and press advertising.

McNeill says the campaign would be worth thousands of pounds, and the funding would come from the Law Society budget, which has a provision for additional expenditure.