The Legal Aid area of the Law Society’s website provides news and advice for legal aid practitioners and information about its Access to Justice campaigns, which include a campaign to “end legal aid deserts” in England and Wales.
The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is an executive agency, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, which provides both civil and criminal legal aid and advice in England and Wales. The LAA replaced the Legal Services Commission on 1 April 2013. It funds both the Civil Legal Advice (CLA) service and the Public Defender Service (PDS). The heading “Main content page” on the site’s home page leads to extensive information and documentation for legal practitioners, including statutory materials, contracts, guidance and forms.
The Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland (LSANI) was created on 1 April 2015 as an executive agency within the Department of Justice upon the dissolution of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission. It is responsible for administering publicly funded legal services. The site has information for members of the public and practitioners. Information for the legal profession includes legislation and guidance, legal aid forms and circulars. Information for the public includes a link to the Law Society of Northern Ireland’s Solicitors Directory.
The Legal Services Research Centre (LSRC), which was the independent research division of the Legal Services Commission, closed on 1 April 2013. Its publications, which have now been archived, can still be viewed via this site.
This independent review, led by Lord Carter of Coles, looked at new methods for procuring legal services with legal aid. Information and documentation on the site (which is now archived) includes the full texts both of Lord Carter’s interim report, Procurement of criminal defence services: market-based reform, published February 2006, and of his final report, Legal aid: a market-based approach to reform, published 13 July 2006.
Public Law Project (PLP) is the site of an independent national legal charity, set up in 1990, which aims “to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access to justice is restricted by poverty or some other form of disadvantage”. It undertakes research, policy initiatives, casework and training across the range of public law remedies. The site’s “Resources” section contains material aimed at public law practitioners and includes guides, conference papers, research reports, consultation responses and recorded presentations.
The Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) has been managing legal aid in Scotland since its establishment in April 1987, when it took over responsibility from the Law Society of Scotland. Content in the section “For solicitors” includes guidance, information on fees, “solicitor updates” and legislation. Other content includes a link to the Scottish Government’s guide to legal aid on its Mygov.scot site.
Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) is a group of lawyers committed to practising in England and Wales in areas of law that have traditionally been publicly funded. Its membership includes qualified junior lawyers, pupil barristers, trainee solicitors, students and paralegals. YLAL campaigns for a sustainable legal aid system, promotes diversity within the legal aid sector and the interests of new entrants to the profession, and provides a network for those beginning careers in the legal aid sector. Its web site provides details of YLAL’s activities, and also includes information about legal aid, responses to consultations, briefings, reports, and news.