The Young Solicitors Group (YSG) is calling for the creation of a dedicated legal aid LPC to stem the crisis in recruitment and retention facing publicly-funded law firms.
The YSG, which represents 50,000 solicitors in England and Wales who have up to 10 years experience, is leading
a campaign to encourage graduates to embark on a career in legal aid and wants urgent remedial action by the profession and the Government.
In the face of spiralling student debt, the YSG is calling for a dedicated legal aid LPC to be created, supported by grants from the Legal Services Comm-ission (LSC). Following the model of the City LPC, the YSG believes this will address concerns that increasingly fewer legal aid subjects are being taught on the LPC. The YSG is calling upon the LSC to extend its grant scheme to encourage students to embark on a legal aid LPC in return for a commitment to work in the legal aid field for a minimum period.
YSG chairman Adrian Barham said: Our aim is to attract students to a career in legal aid with a package of funding and a dedicated LPC, which will equip them for a rewarding career in public service.
This approach has succeeded in attracting a new generation of teachers and similar action must be considered by the Government if it is to fulfil its statutory requirements to provide legal representation to the most vulnerable members of our community.
The YSG is also urging the profession and the Government to unite in promoting the virtues of a career in legal aid and would like to see all university students presented with career information about life as a legal aid lawyer.