LSC announces Training Contract Grants Scheme Awards 2007

On the 13th September 2007, the Legal Services Commission announced the list of firms that will be able to offer sponsored training contracts.  Those currently doing their LPC and who are awarded places will be able to get help with the costs of the LPC course.  The Commission stated that ‘training contract grants are awarded to solicitor and not for profit organisations who are committed to legal aid work and go towards helping train the next generation of legal aid lawyers.

Legal Aid Practitioners' Group Conference with YLAL sessions 19th October in Oxford

This year's full day LAPG conference will take place on 19th October at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LN....the line up looks great.  For students who would like to attend the 2 YLAL sessions in the afternoon, a limited number of free places will be available for students on a first come first served basis.

Young Legal Aid Lawyers appalled at Government’s response to the Constitutional Affairs Committeeï

Young Legal Aid Lawyers are shocked and disappointed that in spite of the Constitutional Affairs Committee’s warnings about the ‘breathtaking risk’ of implementing Lord Carter’s reforms, the Government’s response, published on Friday, flippantly dismisses these serious warnings.

While the Committee stressed the need for further research into the possible effect of the proposals on the supply of legal help to the most vulnerable, the impact these reforms may have on BME suppliers and the dangers of Best Value Tendering, the Government response has dismissed these worries out of hand, displaying a now familiar caviler attitude to the future of Legal Aid.

The lack of explanation for dismissing the Committee’s recommendations is appalling. The complacency of the Government in their attitude to specialist providers is truly breathtaking for a Government that purports to aim to help the vulnerable and socially excluded.

We welcome the response of the Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Alan Beith MP who will be calling for a debate on the floor of the House of Commons on the issue as a matter of urgency. We would also urge all YLAL members to write to their Member of Parliament to ask them to press for a debate at the earliest possible opportunity.

Throughout this whole process YLAL has been calling on the Government to assess the impact of these reforms on those entering the profession. Yet again our submissions and those of many other practitioners go unheeded. On Friday the Government and Legal Services Commission produced at least four further consultations. With firms in disbelief at the lack of attention paid to previous consultations, is it any wonder that lawyers would rather be helping clients than attempting to respond to yet another consultation destined to be ignored?


Notes to Editors

Young Legal Aid Lawyers was founded in 2005 to represent the views of students, barristers, solicitors and other lawyers entering or newly entered to the profession committed to legal aid: www.younglegalaidlawyers.org