If meetings of this kind are keeping Jeremy Corbyn from speaking to the CBI, then he has made the right choice.
Corbyn has attended the legal aid forum to promise young lawyers that Labour will restore the Legal Aid system and ensure that justice is once again available to everybody in the UK, rather than just those who are very rich.
Perhaps former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who was apparently sacked for opposing the Legal Aid cuts imposed by Chris Grayling, might consider crossing the floor of the House of Commons in support?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged young lawyers to ‘stick it out’ in legal aid rather than retrain in another area of law or leave the profession altogether.
Speaking at the legal aid forum, the Labour leader said he often gets law students asking him for work experience who want to specialise in family, criminal, or immigration law.
‘How are you going to do that, I ask. And they reply, “Well it’s a real problem”,’ said Corbyn. ‘They know the problems of funding it. Most of them end up saying they will do commercial law. That means we have fewer qualified people doing things. And the number of solicitors firms that close because of legal aid cuts means there are whole swathes of the country without any legal aid work.’
Speaking exclusively to Solicitors Journal following a barnstorming address to the gathering of legal professionals, the leader of the opposition said the government’s reforms to the justice system meant firms were pulling out of legal aid to concentrate on more lucrative practice areas, to the detriment of young practitioners.
‘At the moment a lot of lawyers feel they can’t be dealing with legal aid, they have to find something else to do, hence the number of firms that don’t want to get involved in legal aid or just do commercial law because that is the only way they can make a living. It is not good for anyone. We need a proper legal system,’ said Corbyn.
‘It is a deterrent for young people going into law in the future, so we end up with young lawyers not being able to work,’ he continued. ‘If you can, stick at it. Try and stay there because people need good lawyers. They need that representation. I want to see the restoration of legal aid in the new parliament and hopefully we will have a Labour majority to bring it about.’
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