What we do, and how you can get involved
When people ask "what does YLAL do?", this is where you will find the answer.
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, even on an ad hoc basis, 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 what we do, and how you can get involved. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
One of YLAL's core aims is to promote social mobility within the legal aid sector and promoting the interests of new entrants into the profession. This includes dealing 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. We also look into proposed changes to the education and training of junior lawyers, including proposals for reform by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board. We'll send emails to our whole mailing list asking you to get involved in longer term tasks, as well as discrete short research projects and talking to your MP. Email us if you'd like more information.
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid (APPG)
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Legal Aid is a cross-party group of MPs and Peers who meet regularly to discuss legal aid issues. It was set up to provide a forum between members of Government, Parliament and those with an interest in the legal aid sector, whether they be professional bodies, practitioner’s groups, charities, campaigning organisations or clients, in order to promote parliamentary and public understanding of the importance of legal aid. Find out more on the APPG on Legal Aid website.
The APPG is jointly organised by YLAL and Legal Aid Practitioner’s Group. YLAL helps to steer topics for debate and publicise the content of the debates. Minutes from previous APPG meetings can be found here. If you would like to get involved, you can help by encouraging your local MP to attend and lobbying them on the importance of legal aid. YLAL members themselves are also welcome to attend meetings. You can find out more if you sign up as a member.
YLAL campaigns to promote access to justice. Members can get involved by writing for us, 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.
YLAL has a large online presence, including our Twitter which is followed by many students, practitioners and members of the public. You can get involved by helping us to manage our 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!)