A scheme to help clerical and administrative staff train as lawyers has been launched by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at a cost of 1.5m per year.
The CPS Law Scholarship Scheme is designed to encourage people from a diverse range of backgrounds to qualify as lawyers. Existing CPS staff can apply for a 100 per cent bursary and can choose to learn on a part-time or distance-learning basis. Training courses are tailored for individual staff and take former experiences and qualifications into account. Once an employee has completed their studies, they are eligible to apply for a training contract.
Solicitor General Harriet Harman QC said: “For law to have legitimacy it must be accessible. It must command the respect of defendants, the confidence of victims and the consent of all. This can only be achieved if the legal profession is to reflect the people it serves. We know that access to legal education has been difficult and expensive and many talented people have been unable to gain access. The CPS is taking the lead in widening these opportunities.”