The Legal Services Commission (LSC) today announced it is making a further 150 grants available - worth up to £3million - to help train the legal aid solicitors of the future. Each grant could be worth as much as £20,000.
The grants will cover 100% of the cost of professional skills courses for trianee solicitors; 60% of tuition fees for students on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and; 50% of the Solicitors Regulation Authority minimum salary.
Solicitor organisations can recruit either someone who has completed their LPC and is ready to start a training contract, or a current or future LPC student who, on completion of their course, joins the organisation on a training contract.
Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Commission, said: I am very pleased to announce this latest round of grants. This year we are able to make 50% more training grants available as our commitment to funding the next generation of legal aid lawyers. The grants will add to the LSC's investment in the next generation of legal aid solicitors which already stands at nearly £15million. The training grants provided so far will translate into nearly 600 newly qualified solicitors working in legal aid. Each of these new solicitors makes a real difference to people's lives."
Priority will be given to organisations with contracts in the areas of Family, Crime, Immigration, Mental Health and Social Welfare law.
The campaign group, Young Legal Aid Lawyers, welcomed the LSC's increase in the number of training contact grants to be made available. In a statement the group said: "While we had asked that the number of grants be doubled given the difficulties faced by young committed lawyers trying to find training contracts as many legal aid firms wind down their work, we are pleased that the LSC has increased the number of grants from 100 to 150."
Organisations who want an application pack can download the information from the LSC website.