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Solicitors Qualifying Examination

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been consultating on its new Solicitors Qualifying Examination ('SQE'). 

SQE will be the new way for people to qualify as solicitors. It will be introduced by Autumn 2021. 

YLAL is concerned to ensure that any reforms to legal education and training have a positive impact on social mobility and access to the profession. The proposed introducton of the SQE represents an overhaul of legal education and training, and as such provides a unique opportunity to increase the accessibility of the profession by reducing the cost of legal education, which is a significant financial barrier to qualification as a solicitor.

We urge the SRA to consider carefully at every stage the impact of its proposals on the accessibility of the profession, particularly to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Here's YLAL's responses to various consultations relating to SQE: 

You can find out more about SQE on the SRA's website

Statement: Report by UN Special Rapporteur

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) welcomes the publication today (22 May 2019) of the final report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, following his visit to the United Kingdom in November 2018.

The UN Special Rapporteur rightly states that legal aid has been "dramatically reduced" in England and Wales since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). The report notes that the number of cases funded by civil legal aid "declined by a staggering 82 per cent between 2010-11 and 2017-18".

Brexit, Human Rights and Access to Justice: YLAL Midlands event on 9 May 2019

On Thursday 9 May 2019, YLAL Midlands hosted an event on Brexit, Human Rights and Access to Justice at the Irwin Mitchell office in Birmingham.

YLAL co-chair Oliver Carter introduced the event and gave a presentation on key Brexit-related litigation, including the Miller, Wightman and Wilson cases, and the possible impact of leaving that leaving the European Union will have on human rights and access to justice in the UK. Ollie's slides are attached at the bottom of this page.

Statement on legal aid for Shamima Begum

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) notes the media reports stating that legal aid funding will be granted to Shamima Begum, the Bethnal Green schoolgirl who travelled to Syria to join ISIS at the age of 15.

YLAL staunchly believes that public funding should be available to all those who cannot afford to pay for their own legal advice and representation. Access to justice is a fundamental human right, and a crucial component of the rule of law in our democratic society.