Legal charity offers seven social welfare training contracts for second year running

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By Jonathan Ames on

Application process kicks off next week for positions across the UK


Competition for seven social welfare law training contracts kicks off next week in arguably one of the best chances wannabe public law solicitors have to bag sponsorship.

The Legal Education Foundation — the charity that sprang from the first sale of the University of Law three years ago — yesterday announced that applications will open on 3 August for the training contracts.

It is the second year of the UK-wide programme, with positions available at a host organisations in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The scheme is aimed at graduates who have passed the Legal Practice Course, or the Irish and Scottish equivalents.

Grants to host organisations average £75,000 to cover the two-year costs of salary, supervision and training courses.

Registered host organisations include the Avon & Bristol Law Centre, north-east England law firm Ben Hoare Bell, the Child Poverty Action Group, south-east London charity Greenwich Housing Rights, Northern Ireland not-for-profit agency Law Centre, Glasgow law centre and charity Legal Services Agency, and London-based homeless charity Shelter.

Amber Rowsell has been training at another host organsation, the Coram Children’s Legal Centre in Colchester, Essex. She commented on the programme:

The fellowship has enabled me to dedicate my time to gain practical experience of social welfare law at this early stage in my career. The support I receive from my supervisors is focused and descriptive, which enhances my skills on a daily basis, allowing me to advise vulnerable clients to the highest standard.

And foundation chief executive Matthew Smerdon commented:

With steep cuts to legal aid and many other areas of public spending, the need for social welfare lawyers has never been greater.

Applications will be accepted online via the foundation’s website from 3 August until midnight on 15 September 2015. The training contracts start in January 2016.