Legal aid news: October 2018

Welcome to our update of the latest legal aid and access to justice news from October 2018.

Legal aid backdating challenge: October got off to a fantastic start with the government agreeing to amend the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 to expressly allow for legal aid certificates to be backdated to the date of application for legal aid.

Legal aid news: August and September 2018

Welcome to our update of the latest legal aid and access to justice news from August and September 2018.

Criminal legal aid cuts

August got off to a fantastic start – the Law Society were successful in their challenge to the most recent cuts to criminal legal aid in what the Law Society described as a “ray of light to the justice system.”

Response to AGFS consultation

On 12 October 2018, Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on 'Amending the Advocates' Graduated Fee Scheme'. Our full response to the consultation is below.

We told the government that whilst we welcome the much-needed injection of additional funding into the Advocates' Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS), we wish to make it absolutely clear that it is not enough. It is not enough to address the crisis within criminal legal aid and, more broadly, the criminal justice system as a whole.

YLAL Response to LASPO Review

YLAL has submitted its response to the Ministry of Justice Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

YLAL's submission concludes by setting out our analysis of the impact of LASPO in comparison to the stated aims of the legislation, within which our key proposals for reform are summarised.

Discouraging unnecessary and adversarial litigation at public expense

Legal aid news: June and July 2018

Welcome to our update of the latest legal aid and access to justice news from June and July 2018.

Housing Possession Court Duty (HPCD) scheme judicial review: On 23 June, the High Court handed down the judgment in Law Centres Network v The Lord Chancellor, a challenge to the new scheme which dictates how legal aid providers tender for a housing duty scheme contract. The full judgment can be found here.

Looking after you

Studying and working in law can be stressful for many reasons, and working in legal aid can be even more so. Clients are often in very vulnerable situations, or may have been through very traumatic experiences, and working in legal aid can mean that you hear about these experiences on a regular basis.

YLAL believes that in order to be able to look after your clients, you must also make time to look after you!

Blogs and Groups

Subscribing to blogs (as well as getting involved with YLAL!) can be a fantastic way to keep up-to-date with what's happening in the legal world, the legal aid world, interesting cases and recent developments. 

You can also join practitioner groups. Some require you to be working in a certain area, but others will let you join as a student or interested person.

Pupillage Applications & Interviews


Advice for completing pupillage applications 

Make sure work experience descriptions are concrete - would anyone reading your application understand what your role entailed? If it’s relevant to the areas of law in which you would like to practise, make sure you explain exactly what work you were doing e.g. drafting applications or witness statements, preparing court bundles and what areas/issues it covered e.g. debt, domestic violence. 

Work Experience and Volunteering

Unfortunately, even entry level and low paid work in legal aid often requires prior work experience, and due to the bottlenecks in the system you may find yourself competing with candidates that have worked for a number of years.

Scholarships and Bursaries

This page summarises specific scholarships and bursaries for aspiring and junior legal aid lawyers; at the bottom of the page is also a list of essay competitions.

If you know of any other relevant scholarships and bursaries, please let us know at ylalinfo@gmail.com


Law school scholarships

Law schools offer scholarships for both undergraduate and post graduate courses (those featured here are those which include professional course scholarships):


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