City law firms to fund aspiring social welfare lawyers through the SQE

£145k pledged to date to cowl examination prep and costs

An alliance of authorized charities and company law firms have launched a brand new fund to permit individuals to qualify as social welfare lawyers without cost.

The Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund targets individuals already working in social welfare law however who aren’t legally certified. Profitable candidates could have their SQE prep course charges with BARBRI and examination prices coated.

The thought is that individuals with the potential to grow to be solicitors advising on welfare rights aren’t held again by their revenue or background.

The City of London Law Society — which says it represents over 14,000 solicitors through particular person and company memberships — is behind the scheme. Additionally on board are the Authorized Help Practitioners Group, Younger Authorized Help Lawyers, Law Centres Community and a few City law firms.

Twelve firms are already concerned and have to date put £145,000 in the pot for the first 12 months of the scheme. That’s sufficient to put 16 individuals through their solicitor exams.

The firms are: Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Clifford Probability, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Simmons & Simmons, Stephenson Harwood, Travers Smith, Trowers & Hamlins and White & Case.

Ellie Reeves MP, the shadow solicitor normal, mentioned:

“The Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund is an excellent initiative that will help aspiring solicitors from all backgrounds to qualify as social welfare lawyers, ensuring that people who care deeply about public welfare will be able to begin their legal careers without worrying about costs. I am proud to offer the Fund my support and I encourage as many firms as possible to get involved.”

The Law Society of England and Wales, which has printed analysis displaying that 78% of the population do not have access to a welfare legal aid provider, additionally welcomed the transfer.

Applications are open until 17 January 2022.

A separate scheme for would-be welfare lawyers who’ve handed the Authorized Observe Course, run by the Authorized Training Basis, has been operating for the previous eight years.

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