TheLegalServices Commission (LSC) is making its legal aid training support grant a permanent fixture in a bid to ramp up the amount of solicitors carrying out publicly funded work.
From this year onwards, 100 training support grants will be rolled out in a bid to encourage wannabe lawyers to carve out a career in legal aid. In recent years the Government has slashed legal aid budgets and the sector has had trouble attracting people into the profession.
The grants meet the tuition fees of students on the LPC, 75 per cent of the minimum salaryandthecostof professional skills courses, meaning they are worth around 20,000 over a two-year period. They are provided on the grounds that the newly qualified solicitor remains in the employment of the solicitor organisation and stays in legal aid for at least two years after qualifying.
Since 2002, when the programme started, the LSC has provided 387 grants to 338 solicitors and 49 not-for- profit organisations.
LSC chief executive Clare Dodgson said: “The LSC’s investmentinthenext generationoflegalaid solicitors already stands at nearly 10m. The training grants provided so far will translate into nearly 400 newly qualified solicitors working in legal aid.”
Legal aid minister David Lammy added that he was “particularly pleased” that last year three-quarters of the grant recipients were women and one-fifth came from an ethnic minority background.