The Local Government Association is carrying out research into whether councils should take part in controversial unified contracts to provide legal advice services.
It wants to understand the effects of setting up community legal advice centres in some areas. These involve pooling funding for legal advice from the Legal Services Commission and the relevant local authority and issuing one area-wide contract.
The measure has badly affected some organisations such as Hull Citizens Advice Bureau, which missed out on its local contract.
"We want to know whether something is being lost by not providing funding to third sector organisations," said Sally Cooke, third sector policy consultant at the LGA.