When people ask "what does YLAL do?", this is where you will find the answer. We organise our work through sub-groups. Each sub-group has a particular aim or focus and is coordinated by at least two committee members. People within the sub-group correspond by email, so there is no need for people to live in the same town or even the same area of the country. Some sub-groups are long-running; others cease to be once their task has been completed.

We are always on the look out for new people to help –  don't be put off by thinking you don't have enough experience. We value whatever you can bring to the group, whether you are new to legal aid or an old hand. Groups are a great way to meet other people interested in legal aid all over the country. If you can't make a meeting but can fit in some tasks via a subgroup you can make a big difference, and get to know others in the legal aid field.

We know students and legal aid lawyers are busy so are grateful for any time you have to help. You can pick the tasks that suit you, e.g sending a few emails if time is short, or taking a document to analyse if you have a bit longer.

Below is a list of our current sub-groups with a short explanation of what the sub-group does. If you would like to get involved with the work of one or more of the sub-groups please email us at and we can put you in touch with the group coordinator. 

Social mobility

This sub-group is responsible for promoting social mobility within the legal aid sector and promoting the interests of new entrants into the profession. It deals with issues such as the government’s policy on social mobility, work-based learning for solicitors, junior barristers’ fees and the paralegalisation of the profession. This subgroup also looks into proposed changes to the education and training of junior lawyers, including proposals for reform by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board. Email us if you'd like more information. 

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid (APPG)

YLAL jointly organises the APPG with the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group. The APPG is a group of MPs who meet monthly in Parliament to debate legal aid issues. The sub-group steers the topics for debate and organises speakers for the meetings. It is also coordinates some of our other lobbying of parliamentarians on specific issues related to legal aid. The APPG website is

YLAL Campaigns

This sub-group organises YLAL campaign power to help promote access to justice. This subgroup is ideal for people who like writing, for example, to appeal to the general public about the importance of legal aid through magazines or blogs. There are also lots of small discrete tasks, for example, emailing groups and individuals to support particular campaigns, or our project to provide presentations to universities/groups to raise awareness of access to justice issues. This year we organised a number of presentations and film showings to support Justice Alliance and promote its work.

YLAL Online

Want to help YLAL's team that manage our communication with others online? Maybe you can help us manage the website, facebook and twitter accounts, find new content for news posts, or think of new ways to get our message out. New ideas and creativity are welcome.

(Interested in what we are doing and not yet a member? Please sign up to join YLAL here. It's free!)