Shoosmiths supports national scholarship fund for aspiring social welfare solicitors

Now backed by 18 major law firms, including Shoosmiths, the Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund (SWSQF) has secured funding for a first cohort of 22 social welfare legal workers, selected from a competitive pool of applicants, to take the BARBRI prep course and qualify as solicitors.

The UK faces an overwhelming need for social welfare solicitors. Confronted with ongoing societal and economic instability, the client base of those who cannot afford private legal representation is growing in both size and vulnerability.

The SWSQF is a national initiative to turn dedicated social welfare legal workers into social welfare solicitors, supported financially by leading law firms and the City of London Solicitors' Company Charitable Fund. It will widen access to justice for users of vital social welfare services, and expand social mobility into the legal profession.

The fund aims to make dozens of awards annually, and covers selected candidates’ full training and assessment costs. Starting today, they will study part-time while continuing to work in their current social welfare roles. Once qualified, each will deliver over 1,200 social welfare law hours annually, making a significant nationwide impact on a sector in critical need of support.

The SWSQF is led by the City of London Law Society in partnership with legal training provider BARBRI and Young Legal Aid Lawyers. Together, these organisations believe that talented social welfare lawyers of the future, whatever their income or background, must have every opportunity to qualify into the profession.

Nicola Ellen, head of corporate responsibility commented ‘We are delighted to be playing a part in assisting this project and wish good luck to the first cohort.’


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.