Junior Lawyers Division seeks urgent responses on how the cuts will affect young lawyers
There message is below – please note deadline of Tuesday 1st February.
The Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) are extremely concerned about the government’s plans to make drastic cuts to legal aid and the impact it will have on access to justice and vulnerable member of society. We are equally concerned that the cuts will impact on the quality and diversity of profession.
The cuts will impact on the number of students seeking to pursue a career in legal aid, training contracts will be hard to come by and increasingly competitive and there will be increased job insecurity for newly qualified solicitors. For more information on why this could happen please see the attached press release from JLD and reports of Young Legal Aid Lawyers.
JLD will be responding to the Government’s proposals to cut eligibility and remove whole areas from legal aid funding. We also want to ensure that the voices of our members are heard! We want your views and opinions on how you think it will impact the profession. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 1st February (sorry for the short time but we need to collate the response before the 14th February. Just take ten minutes on Friday afternoon or over the weekend to email us!).
Attached is a guide to questions you might want to consider in your response to us. In particular we are looking for testimonies from those who are students considering a career in legal aid, those looking for training contracts in legal aid and current trainees and newly qualified solicitors up to fives years post qualified. Let us know what you think about the cuts and how they will affect the quality and diversity of the profession.
Please provide your name (and whether you wish your testimony to be anonymous) and stage in your career and firm (also whether you wish this to be anonymous).
PLEASE FORWARD TO FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES!
A guide to issues to consider when sending us your testimony
- The impact the cuts will have on the recipients of legal aid who you work with/have worked with;
- The impact on the diversity of the profession;
- The importance of maintaining a high standard of quality in the profession;
- Have you considered a career in legal aid;
- If you have chosen to pursue this what challenges do you think you will face and how will the cuts make these worse/harder;
- If you have decided not to pursue a career in legal aid, having previously considered it, why have you made this decision;
- How difficult is it to get a training contract;
- Do you think that you need to obtain a lot of work experience;
- The impact of the end of the LSC training contract grant scheme
- What challenges do trainees face in legal aid work that will be worsened by the cuts e.g. supervision;
- How hard was it for you to get a training contract (how many applications/interviews did you make);
- How much work experience did you need;
- Did you have to paralegal for a long time before securing a training contract;
- Are you having to supplement your income with other work;
- Did you become a paralegal with a view to getting a training contract in legal aid;
- What challenges have you face and how will the cuts to legal aid affect this;
- What challenges do you face as an NQ that will be worsened by the cuts;
- Have you been asked to stay on as a paralegal not an NQ;
- What are the challenges of legal aid work e.g. stress, pressure of fixed fees, low remuneration, vulnerable clients etc.
Please also add anything else you think is relevant and important.
 Our members number around 72,000. You are automatically a member if you are an LPC student, Trainee or NQ to five years post-qualification.
Please take a few minutes to email the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society to make your views heard.