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Travers Smith partners with a host of City law firms to tackle deficit in junior social welfare solicitors and broaden entry to legal sector


Travers Smith LLP is delighted to announce it is collaborating with the UK legal sector to launch the Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund (SWSQF) to tackle the deficit in junior social welfare solicitors. The new fund will make a lasting difference in the field of social welfare law.

The SWSQF is led by the City of London Law Society in partnership with training provider BARBRI, the Young Legal Aid Lawyers Group, the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, and the Law Centres Network, with financial support from over a dozen City law firms, including Allen & Overy, Ashurst , Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Simmmons & Simmons, Stephenson Harwood, Trowers & Hamlins and White & Case.

This cross-sector and nationwide fund targets dedicated social welfare legal workers by providing them with the funding to train and qualify as social welfare solicitors. It addresses the persistent shortage of social welfare lawyers by directly tackling barriers to qualification, such as debt or low wages.

The SWSQF increases access to justice for users of social welfare services, at the same time as broadening entry to the legal profession. The fund covers the full training and assessment costs of successful applicants, each of whom once qualified will deliver approximately 1,500 social welfare law hours annually.

Senior Partner Kathleen Russ said: "We are very proud to be a part of this crucial initiative to help tackle the overwhelming need for junior social welfare solicitors and to help tackle some of the barriers facing those who are passionate about pursing social welfare law. This sits alongside our ongoing work in helping tackle social mobility, helping ensure the legal profession is accessible to all, and in using our influence and resources to address pressing social needs".  

Ellie Reeves MP, Shadow Solicitor General, said: ‘The Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund is an excellent initiative that will help aspiring solicitors from all backgrounds to qualify as social welfare lawyers, ensuring that people who care deeply about public welfare will be able to begin their legal careers without worrying about costs. I am proud to offer the Fund my support and I encourage as many firms as possible to get involved.’

Key contacts

Read Sam Cottman Profile
Sam Cottman
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Chris Edwards
Read Kathleen Russ Profile
Kathleen Russ
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