TLEF made 222 grants worth £12m to support access to justice sector since 2012

The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF) made 79 grants worth £4.3m to organisations supporting access to justice last year. The funder has now distributed over £12m since the charity came into being with a capital endowment of approximately £200m in 2012 following the sale of the College of Law. (Pic: TLEF’s 2016 annual report)

According to TLEF’s annual report published yesterday, the foundation passed a ‘significant milestone’ in 2016 having distributed more than £10m through 185 grants – and has distributed another £2m since then. ‘Collaboration is an important part of our ethos, and last year saw us attract £1m from other grant-making organisations to distribute via partnership programmes,’ wrote Matthew Smerdon in the introduction. You can download the report here.

Under the foundation’s first objective to increase public understanding of the law and capability to use it, grants included £195,485 for Youth Access’s new Make Our Rights Reality programme (as reported on LegalVoice last week here) and £49,500 for the Transparency Project which monitors ‘official publication/dissemination, professional reporting and media coverage of family courts’.

Under its objective to advance high quality thinking, training and practice in legal education and legal services, the Access to Justice Foundation received £47,199 to fund a litigants in person website to serve as ‘an online community of individual and organisations providing services’ to unrepresented litigants; and £46,479 to University College London’s centre for access to justice to fund a researcher to ‘measure the health outcomes of advice’ delivered via a partnership with the Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre in Stratford, east London which provides free legal advice by law students to patients through GP referrals or as a drop-in client.

A third objective, to increase access to employment in the legal profession and to advance social mobility, included 16 new grants worth £996,000 to meet the costs of training Justice First Fellows based in 15 social welfare law organisations, including the Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit, Central England Law Centre, Just for Kids Law, and South West London Law Centres. You can find out more by reading our My Justice First Fellowship series on LegalVoice (here). Nine new fellows have been appointed and a further 15 Fellows are being recruited this year taking the total to 33.

The TLEF flagged up their support for groups bolstering the rights of children and young people last year with grants totaling £581,000 made to nine organisations including Coram Children’s Legal Centre and Just for Kids Law.




About Jon Robins

Jon is a journalist and has written about the law and justice for the national papers and specialist press for more than 15 years. Jon is a visiting journalism lecturer at Winchester University, a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He has won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year award twice (2015 and 2005). Jon is editor and co-founder of LegalVoice

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