Centre for Access to Justice


APPG on Legal Aid: Inquiry into Sustainability Assistants

Inquiry assistants will provide support to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Legal Aid, working to support their inquiry with research assistance and data collection


All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal, cross-party interest groups of MPs and Peers interested in a particular issue. APPGs do not have any power to make laws and are not funded by Parliament. There are a great number of APPGs, covering many and such diverse fields such as health, education, transport, defence, finance, the media and sports. 

The APPG on Legal Aid (the Group) was established in July 2009, and is co-sponsored by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) and Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). The Group brings together Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons to discuss issues relating to legal aid. The Group meets regularly when Parliament is sitting to discuss topics that are important in the legal aid sector and to hear from those that work within it. Previous Chairs of the Group include Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer. Our current chair is Karen Buck MP and Vice-Chairs include Baroness Helena Kennedy, Lord Willy Bach, and Lord Colin Low. For more information about the APPG itself, please take a look at it’s website here

About the Project:

The APPG on Legal Aid has recently launched an Inquiry into the Sustainability of Legal Aid. It is a cross-party initiative which seeks to examine the state of the legal aid sector as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been identified that many of the worst impacts of the pandemic will be felt by those who are least financially resilient- low income families, younger people and students, parents with dependent children, women, BAME individuals, renters, the self-employed, those working variable hours and in the gig economy. Emerging from the pandemic, many of these individuals are likely to need legal advice and be unable to afford it. Their ability to access justice will be dependent on the continued availability of publicly funding legal aid.

Prior to the crisis, those delivering legal aid were generally either doing so at a loss and/or reliant on subsidies from private work or grant funding. This was not a sector that was financially robust and able to withstand the severe reductions in income that have eventuated from the crisis. The crisis has had a severe economic impact on those delivering legal aid so, over a period of six months commencing September 2020, the Commission seeks to gather research which looks at the impact of recent policy and COVID-19 on legal aid provision.

The intention behind this research is to use all of the evidence  to assess the impact upon access to justice and equality both for practitioners and members of the public. We hope that this in turn shall inform the policy-making that will determine how the legal aid system recovers from the crisis, both immediately and in the longer term.

The Role

To support the Inquiry with research and field work, we are recruiting up to 10 students as research assistants.

The role may change and develop as the Inquiry progresses but in the first instance, students will be supporting with data collection, identifying relevant organisations and their contact details in order to establish a list of potential survey respondents.

Students may also be involved with conducting follow up interviews by phone. 

Time Commitment:

The work will be carried out remotely and can be done flexibly to accommodate student schedules and workloads. Students should be willing to commit 3-5 hours a week though some periods may be busier than others subject to the needs of the Inquiry.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

The role is open to all LLB and LLM students. The deadline for applications is Sunday 18 October, 11:59pm.

To apply, please fill out the online application form