The Scottish Government’s £1 million fund to support legal aid traineeships opened for applications on 3 June 2021.

The fund will provide support for up to 40 new legal aid trainees, and will pay 50% of the trainees salaries, as well as half of the regulatory costs, National Insurance, Practising Certificate costs and Trainee CPD.

The Law Society of Scotland will manage the fund and is now accepting applications from firms.

Ken Dalling, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said:

“We have pushed hard for support for the legal aid sector and are pleased that the legal aid traineeship fund is now in place. It provides a much-needed boost for this hard-pressed, yet vital, part of the profession and is a step forward in addressing concerns over future sustainability.

“There are still serious issues to be resolved on how to ensure that the legal aid sector remains viable with ongoing investment by government at an appropriate level, yet the traineeship fund is a positive move and a move in the right direction.

“It is hugely important that the legal aid sector is not left behind and that it is an area of the law in which law graduates not only want to work but one in which they can thrive in the longer term. That is why we will be evaluating the impact of the fund on an ongoing basis. In will be important to assess its effectiveness at attracting trainees to the sector and retaining them as newly qualified solicitors.”

Firms must have at least 20% of their business come from legal aid work to be eligible for the funding, and trainees that are hired through the scheme must spend the majority of their time working on legal aid cases.

For more information on the fund and how to apply, visit the Law Society of Scotland legal aid trainee fund page.

Read the Scottish Government’s press release on the legal aid trainee fund here.

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