The SWSQF is an initiative by the City of London Law Society, BARBRI and Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) to provide financial assistance to aspiring solicitors working in social welfare law for organisations serving disadvantaged communities. The SWSQF funds the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) preparation courses and assessments. The fund works alongside other initiatives to provide greater access to justice and widen access to the legal profession.
The City of London Law Society, BARBRI and YLAL are working with the below law firms and the City of London Solicitors’ Company Charitable Fund and benefit from their generous financial support of this initiative.
I. Stephanie Boyce, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, welcomes the news that the SWSQF fund has surpassed £500,000.
The SWSQF Committee, with the generosity of the funders, are delighted to announce we have secured the following funding over years 1-4 of the initiative:
Claire Friel successfully passed her SQE 2 in August this year to become the first solicitor to qualify from our SWSQF cohort. We are enormously proud of her achievement and for what she will achieve in the future. Many Congratulations Claire!
SWSQF has allowed me to progress in criminal defence work where we represent vulnerable clients, deal with late night police station cases and address difficult subject matters, which understandably will not appeal to many people. Those of us in this field are met with a financial barrier to getting qualified and progress our careers as legal aid funding levels prohibits our employers funding SQE preparation courses or assessments. It would have been impossible for me to fund this course myself and without SWSQF I do not know when I could hope to be qualified. At a time where more and more defence solicitors are leaving the profession and firms are finding it very difficult to recruit, my employer and I are delighted that I will now be able continue the work we do and are passionate about, soon as a qualified solicitor. I am most looking forward to being a consistent contact and support for people who will often be going through one of the most difficult experiences of their life, and seeing their cases through from start to finish, including representing clients at court. I am extremely thankful for the doors that SWSQF has opened for me and to the fund’s donors who made that possible. I am very hopeful that many more people with an aspiration to work in social welfare law will become qualified solicitors through this opportunity.
Goldman Bailey Solicitors, North London