VIDEO: Social mobility in the legal aid sector

Last month, Legal Aid Watch reported on the release of a new report on social mobility in the legal aid profession.

“Social mobility and diversity in the legal aid sector: One step forward, two steps back” was launched by Young Legal Aid Lawyers on October 30, 2013.

In case you missed the event, scroll down to see our coverage of the Q&A session with the following experts:


Raphael Rowe, Investigative Journalist

David Johnston, CEO Social Mobility Foundation

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Director Scott-Moncrieff and Associates Ltd

Simao Paxi-Cato, Junior Barrister, Invictus Chambers

Chris Topping, Partner, Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors

James Wakefield, Director of the Council of the Inns of Court

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2

The Q&A session begins with “What are the wider consequences of a lack of social mobility within the legal profession?”

Part 3

David Johnston, CEO Social Mobility Foundation responds to “why are talented people being held back?” in Young Legal Aid Lawyers Q&A session.

Part 4

“What advice would you give to people looking for a career in legal aid?”

Part 5

“How can careers advice be improved in schools to ensure social mobility within the profession?”

Part 6

“Should there be a cap on law students entering vocational courses?”

Part 7

“Could the Inns of Court and the Law Society do more?”

Part 8

“Is there a danger that the profession will be seen as  ‘caring’ due to the prominence of female legal aid lawyers?”

Part 9

“How do you feel about press coverage of legal aid cuts?  Is a Press strategy needed?”

Part 10

“Can the government turn a blind eye to the impact its proposals will have on diversity? Is change all up to the professionals?”

Part 11

“Who is advocating the idea that people should represent themselves?”

Part 12

“What can we do to counter the stereotype of lawyers as greedy?”

Part 13

“How can we tackle the problem of unpaid work experience?”



Legal aid cuts and social mobility: Top legal minds discuss

Key figures from the legal field identified cuts to legal aid as damaging to social mobility within the profession, at an event organised by the group Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) this week.

The Panel

The Panel

The event, which was hosted by London South Bank University, marked the launch of the YLAL report Social Mobility within the Legal Aid Profession, which warns that uncertain prospects for young lawyers may be damaging diversity within the field.

In her keynote address, Justice of the Supreme Court Baroness Hale argued the importance of the state’s role in ensuring access to legal aid. She explained: “The case for legal protection is stronger than that for any other kind of protection. The state is not responsible for the outbreak of epidemics, old age or economic crisis, but the state is responsible for the law.” Continue reading