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The provision of legal aid has been under attack since roughly five years after I qualified (in 1981). There was a deliberate attempt to portray all solicitors as securing an income for equivalent to that of a City commercial firm's partner but out of the public purse - utilising the out of date folk image of a solicitor as a well-off professional living off the backs of his local community. Occasional attempts by a few to do just that by gaming the system gave the opportunity to undermining any value of lawyers in the eyes of the public who had never needed to use one and never expected to have to.

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