Over 35 MPs enrol for work experience with legal aid lawyers

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#TakeYourMPToWork campaign aims to highlight pressing need for properly funded justice system

A group of MPs will shadow legal aid lawyers as part of a new campaign aimed at demonstrating first-hand why comprehensive, early legal advice is so vital.

Over 35 MPs from across the country have signed up to take part in the cross-party initiative, spearheaded by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid and Young Legal Aid Lawyers, which launches next month.

The #TakeYourMPToWork campaign follows the government’s recent commitment to piloting early legal advice in housing law, which was severely cut following the introduction of the 2012 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LAPSO). Since the cuts, ‘legal aid deserts’ have reportedly emerged across the country where members of the public that can’t afford access to legal advice must represent themselves.

Criticising the government’s legal aid pilot for its narrow scope, the campaign argues that legal matters are complex, multi-faceted problems not limited to one area of law (for example, housing problems often stem from debt or issues with welfare) which if prevented from escalating through early legal advice could “save money and save stress”. By inviting MPs to shadow legal aid lawyers, the campaign hopes to build parliamentary support for legal aid in all areas of social welfare law to be restored.

The MPs taking part include legal aid minister, Paul Maynard, former barrister and current minister of justice, Robert Buckland, shadow justice secretary, Richard Burgon, as well as former barrister and current Conservative MP, Alex Chalk, former Conservative and leader of Change UK, Anna Soubry, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

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However, those seeking legal advice are not the only ones affected. Yesterday a legal aid solicitor took to Twitter to reveal that she had been made redundant as a result of the government’s cuts.

In a further tweet, the lawyer, who goes by the name @LegalAidLass on Twitter, reveals she graduated with a 2:1 from a red brick university and achieved a distinction in the LPC. Now, despite having worked “tirelessly in legal aid”, she needs to find a job before “the next CRM12 deadline in less than three weeks”.

The CRM12 is a government application form that law firms submit detailing nominated duty solicitors that have been added to the rota.

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If it doesn’t raise my vibration or bank account balance, the answer is “No, thank you.”



The level of greed among some City lawyers right now is appalling.



Why not go and protest in Temple? The Commercial Bar earns even more than most partners do and set their own rates


City trainee

The people shitposting on LC aren’t real city lawyers; they’re first year law students taking the piss.



Stop taking the piss.



NQ’s with Slaughter and May receiving 100k plus is obscene. Whereas legal aid grafters getting s*d all in comparison.


Big Diggs Higgs

Cry me a river



Why doesn’t the commercial bar start a campaign to give only one hour of their billable time to legal aid practitioners in desperate need?

That’s how to look ‘woke’ and ‘enlightened’ these days, right?



The commercial bar already subsidise the legal aid bar via the practicing certificate fee.

That decision was reached democratically. By way of the greater number of legal aid barristers voting to be given the money of the far fewer in number of commercial barristers.

Having been mugged once, sympathy may not now be sky high …



No sympathy, you are right. The abuse of the practicing certificate fee was a disgrace. Having introduced a tax on the talented, to mug the successful again by introducing more bands made my blood boil. I am also sick of the Bar Council fighting hopeless cases against sensible criminal funding reforms. All this “One Bar” nonsense has worn thin, I’m afraid.



So you’re saying I need to become an MP to get a minipupillage?



This is a great comment. My favourite of the day. Other than one of my own that I had typed out and didn’t send. It was about sleeping with legal recruiters that didn’t make it as a lawyer.



Strong game Lazareth!


Infatuated of Tunbridge Wells (not Tom Cruise)



Sir Red Brick

Red brick university with a 2.1 desperate for work. Did someone say the bar was for the academically gifted?


Could you handle 80 hours a week? £1.2k...

How do you fancy some document review? £15 an hour.


Sir Red Brick

Will take anything right know, do you have more than the one P45 document to review?


Sir Red Brick

Will take anything right now, do you have more than my one P45


Sir Red Brick

Will take anything right now, do you have more than my one P45 document to review?



Anna Soubry spent 20 years at the criminal bar. This seems like a waste of her time.



And ours.


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