The Civil Legal Aid scheme is incredibly complex and the consequences of getting something wrong can be damaging to a client’s case or financially damaging to the organisation doing the work – sometimes both.

LAPG receives numerous member enquiries every month, many of which indicate

  1. A lack of understanding of the detail of the legal aid scheme and
  2. The difficulties practitioners face in maintaining a working knowledge of the scheme, as it changes regularly.

Our members often tell us that they would like to have access to a modular ‘Introduction to Legal Aid’ training programme taking newcomers to the sector through the potential minefield of legal aid work that they can use as a standard part of their internal training process for new recruits.

We developed the first module in a series which provides a general introduction to the civil legal aid scheme aimed at trainees, paralegals, junior lawyers and those that wish to refresh their knowledge having worked in the sector for some time.

It is an online self-study modular course online that you complete at your own pace, with external links for up to date Legal Aid Agency information.

A number of organisations are now using this course as a standard part of their training process for new recruits

This course provides a comprehensive overview and introduction to the Civil Legal Aid scheme and the critical aspects of working within a legal aid contract.

In this introductory module we cover:

• Where the legal aid scheme and rules can be found
• The differences between Legal Help and Legal Representation
• The legal and financial tests applied in determining eligibility for legal aid
• The different forms of service available
• How to get legal aid in an emergency
• Rules on the statutory charge, costs protection and Exceptional Case Funding

The course has been developed by LAPG and tested by members of the LAPG Advisory Committee, members of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) and other legal aid practitioners.

Cost: £99 per person for LAPG members (in some cases, we offer discounted or free places for members of the Justice First Fellowship. Please, contact us for further details) and £125 per person for non-members.

To subscribe or for more details, please email Andrea.shumaker@lapg.co.uk

We are going to design more modules, and are very happy to hear from you with feedback on how to improve this course and ideas for future course areas.

We use Thinkific: Effective, engaging and easy to use.

Comments from delegates

‘The course was easy to use and follow.’

‘Good, logical structure’

‘It was a useful refresher on completing means and merits assessments for Legal Aid cases.’

‘It was easy to navigate and clear to understand.’

‘We haven’t been offered anything like this before- we were all pleased to see that this course had been offered as its useful for all legal aid solicitors, no matter what level. It’s good to go back to basics.’

‘I think for beginners to legal aid, it is perfect.’

‘It was a refresher course which was very helpful.’

‘To understand the different types of funding available other than certificated matters.’

‘Very useful in improving my understanding of the subject.’