Several training contracts are up for grabs as a grant-giving charity continues to fund the next generation of social justice lawyers.

The Legal Education Foundation has opened the application process for its Justice First Fellowship, offering 19 training contracts at leading organisations.

Four training contracts are based at organisations specialising in child law – Children’s Legal Centre Wales, Clan ChildLaw, Family Rights Group and Shelter North West. The fellowships at Disability Law Service and law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn will focus on disability law. Deighton Pierce Glynn will recruit a disabled candidate.

Training contracts are also on offer at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Central England Law Centre, Citizens Advice Plymouth, Derbyshire Law Centre, Ealing Law Centre, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, Greenwich Housing Rights, The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Mary Ward Legal Centre, Merseyside Law Centre, Public Law Project, Citizens Advice RCJ Advice, and Shelter Plymouth.

Candidates must have passed or expected to pass their Legal Practice Course or equivalent by 31 October and show a strong commitment to social justice. Applicants can only apply to one host organisation. Applications must be submitted by 14 September.

The foundation’s chief executive, Matthew Smerdon, said: 'This year's recruitment round means we will have funded over 100 trainee lawyer posts since the fellowship scheme was launched in 2014. The pandemic has highlighted just how vital it is for people facing difficulties to have access to expert, dedicated lawyers, to help secure their rights and solve legal problems.

‘We thank the 19 host organisations for working with us, and also our 2020 co-funders, who share our belief in the importance of creating future leaders in this vital area of law.’

Previous Justice First Fellows include Siobhan Taylor-Ward, an asylum and housing lawyer at Merseyside Law Centre who was named 'newcomer of the year' at this year’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards. Human rights solicitor Sophie Earnshaw, represented a victim of an acid attack who overturned an attempt to strip her of a disability benefit after being told she was fit for work. Her case was covered by the Guardian. Alex Temple, a solicitor at Just for Kids Law, wrote a free handbook for practitioners explaining the criminal record rules. Denisa Gannon became the first Roma woman to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Pictured above: Justice First Fellowship 2019 cohort