Civil Legal Aid campaign – get involved!
Young Legal Aid Lawyers are collaborating with The Access to Justice Alliance to collect evidence about the impact of recent legal aid changes on clients. Our aim is to collate this evidence, with a view to publishing our findings. A questionnaire, aimed at members of the public, that can be completed on-line or printed and sent by post, can be found on LAG’s website: http://www.lag.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=92353 Please let your clients know to complete this survey if they have something to say about their journey to representation.
The Access to Justice Alliance and Young Legal Aid Lawyers are also asking legal advisors to tell us about their experiences. For example, we recently heard from someone who told us:
‘A client attended a legal outreach session in the Brent area. They were facing possession proceedings and homelessness. They had successfully claimed asylum. However, finding themselves isolated and unsupported in the UK , they had fallen into depression and attempted to self-medicate with illicit drugs. I checked the LSC website for the names of firms in my client’s area who dealt in residential landlord and tenant law and assisted legal aided clients. The first four housing solicitors informed me that they no longer took on legally aided cases. The fifth firm agreed to an initial consultation but then refused to take on my client’s case. It was not until I referred my client to a sixth solicitor that they finally got the help they needed.’
We hope YLAL members will be able to provide us with evidence of what is happening in their areas with regards to the provision of civil legal aid with similar case studies (that contain no identifying details). Our deadline for this evidence is Friday 18th July. YLAL members can provide their case studies or make further enquiries through the contact form.