In 2014 LAPG was awarded a government grant to develop a management training programme for legal aid law firms. Successfully piloted in 2015, the Certificate in Practice Management combined face-to-face training with online learning and materials to provide an accessible and affordable management training programme for busy lawyers and practice managers.
We have now completely re-designed the programme and this year sees the launch of our Management Skills for Private Practice training modules. You can take any number of modules to suit your needs. Complete them all and you’ll be awarded the LAPG Certificate in Private Practice Management. 90% of employers surveyed said they had noticed increased knowledge, skills and confidence in the staff that had attended the full programme.
The modules are designed around the Law Society LEXCEL standard, the Specialist Quality Mark and the SRA competence framework:

Staying afloat and making money from legal aid has never been harder. This session focusses on understanding resource and income and on budgeting, forecasting and variance analysis. It aims to give participants the tools necessary for effective financial planning and analysis.

“Now I can read our balance sheet properly and see the real benefit of forecasting and monitoring and the introduction of KPIs”

Planning is at the heart of a successful practice. We discuss approaches to strategic and operational planning, including undertaking a SWOT and PSTLE analysis and setting meaningful organisational and operational objectives. We also look at business continuity and general risk management. With this in mind, we discuss GDPR and data security risk.

“I’ll certainly use the checklists for compliance, Business Continuity Plan ideas, data security improvements. Thank you for all your enthusiasm and inspiration”

People are the most important element of any law firm. Those people can also take up most of a manager’s time. This session tracks staffing issues from recruitment through probation, supervision, training, and appraisal. It also discusses behaviour, bullying, feedback, and performance management. This is an essential session for anyone managing staff.

“I liked looking at the importance of induction and probation and getting it right at the beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed the course as a whole”

All legal aid firms must hold either the Legal Aid Agency’s Specialist Quality Mark or the Law Society’s Lexcel standard. They also need policies and procedures to ensure compliance with SRA, OISC, Legal Aid and other regulatory requirements. This risk focussed session covers how to approach effective policies, procedures safeguards and controls. In addition, our guest tutor, Phanuel Mutumburi, leads a session on diversity, equity and inclusion and their importance in an effective workplace.

Our guest tutor Themer Silmane, Marketing Manager at Ridley and Hall solicitors, discusses different approaches to effective communication, and how fee-earners can contribute to their firm’s marketing strategy.

The session covers different approaches to effective communication and is focused on the needs of legal aid law firms.

“I can now develop a social media and marketing strategy”

For this session we are joined by two experienced contract managers from the Legal Aid Agency who will help participants better understand how to manage their legal aid contracts and avoid audit issues and contract notices. After that, Matt Howgate and Vicky Ling share their expertise and experiences of effectively managing legal aid contracts.

“The course made me feel more confident with auditing and supervising and dealing with the LAA”

The first four sessions last from 10:00 to 16:30, with two tea breaks and a longer break for lunch. The last 2 are half-day sessions: from 10:00-12:30 the first one and from 14:00 – 16:30 the second. The course trainers include Vicky Ling, Matt Howgate and other legal aid sector experts.

The full five day course fee is £630 for LAPG members and £900 for non-members, which covers online course work and training materials.

Subscribe to the whole course here.

Attend the whole course to receive the Certificate or each individual session as a discrete training course. Attending individual sessions also earns you credits towards the full Certificate if you need the flexibility to complete the Certificate over a longer period of time.

We will be running in September-December 2023.

If you would like to discuss the course please email

Comments from delegates

‘I would recommend the MSPP to other people, especially people who are relatively new to management.’ (Newly qualified solicitor)

‘I really enjoyed it, I thought it was great.’ (Manager with over 10 years’ experience)’

‘I thought the session was a bit different – interesting. We’re introducing dashboards at partnership and team level; time targets, costs and average fees.’

‘I can now critique and analyse our accounts.’

‘We have changed the way supervision is structured.’

‘Your training and support of our practice manager seems to have revolutionised our legal aid work and significantly increased our billing last year.’

‘We’ve got a website but we’re not maximizing it. The session gave us tools we will use. Will really help.’