What you can do for legal aid

Six Ways to Campaign for Justice (and for YLAL)

There are lots of ways YLAL members can get involved with campaigning for access to justice. Here are just a few ways you can get involved, whether you have just 30 seconds or a couple of hours.

  1. Follow us on social media – 30 seconds

    Members can follow and like YLAL on social media – we are on Twitter @YLALawyers and Facebook. Following us is a great way to keep up-to-date on developments in legal aid and opportunities to get involved in our work.

  2. Contact your MP – 5 minutes 

    You can email your MP to tell them about the importance of legal aid and ask for their support for access to justice. If you do contact your MP, you can share our response to the LASPO Review and our Social Mobility Report. If you are not sure who your MP is, you can find their contact details here

  3. Contribute to our blogs – 15 minutes 

    You can contribute short entries to our blogs, Young Legal Aid Life and Thanks2LegalAid, to tell your real life stories about working as a legal aid lawyer and the fantastic, life-changing work you do for your clients. Please follow the above links to update the blogs with your contributions.  

  4. Help with research – 30 minutes

    We are always looking at ways to highlight the importance of legal aid, as well as promoting social mobility, diversity and access to the profession. A new campaign we will be focusing on is a Living Wage Campaign. The purpose of this campaign will be to try to ensure that people working in legal aid are paid at least the real living wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation. Our recent Social Mobility report, Social Mobility in a Time of Austerity, demonstrated that many legal aid lawyers are paid less than the real living wage. YLAL wants to change this.

    If you are interested in supporting YLAL’s Living Wage Campaign, you can contribute by helping us to research current salaries for people working in legal aid. We would like volunteers to help with this upcoming campaign, so if you are interested, please email us at ylalcampaigns@gmail.com so that we can coordinate a team of volunteers to work on different tasks as part of the campaign.

  5. Visit your MP – 1 hour (not including travel time)  

    A great way to campaign for access to justice is by going to meet your MP at their constituency surgery. You can find their contact details here.

    You can make a huge contribution by visiting your MP and speaking to them about legal aid and access to the profession. You can send or take a copy of YLAL’s response to the LASPO Review and invite them to attend the next meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Legal Aid. Your MP can find information about the APPG on Legal Aid and its meetings here.

    YLAL has also prepared some helpful top tips when meeting your MP, which you can refer to in order to prepare for the meeting.

  6. Write an article – 2 hours  

    We are looking for a volunteer to write an article on recruitment problems for the next generation of legal aid lawyers. This will help highlight a brief history of social mobility in the legal aid profession.  We have a useful consultation paper from Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) which we will share with any volunteers for this task.

    Following the political party conferences last month, we would also like a member (or members) to volunteer to write about the current political climate in respect of legal aid and possible future reforms affecting access to justice.

    If you are interested in writing an article on either of the above issues, please email ylalcampaigns@gmail.com These articles will then be published on our website.

These are just a few ways you can have an active role in YLAL’s campaigning and lobbying work. As an YLAL member, you can play a vital role in raising awareness of access to justice and campaigning for change. 

All-Party Parlimentary Group on Legal Aid

YLAL jointly organises meetings of the APPG on Legal Aid with the Legal Aid Practitioners Group. The meetings are held regularly in Parliament to discuss legal aid issues. If you are interested in attending these meetings please contact ylalappg@gmail.com, and find out more about the APPG on Legal Aid here.