12,000 Lawyers Walked for Justice in London This Week – Lawyer Monthly | Legal News Magazine

12,000 Lawyers Walked for Justice in London This Week

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12,000 people, the majority of them lawyers, walked to raise funds for free legal advice services in London and the South East on May 22nd.

The annual London Legal Walk has attracted the support of the whole of the legal profession, fundraising to enable Law Centres, local Citizens Advice and advice agencies to continue to help vulnerable people access legal advice.

Last year’s walk raised £740,000 and organisers expect to break £800,000 this year.

Those that the advice centres help include families facing homelessness, older people requiring community care, trafficked women and children, people with disabilities, refugees, people who are facing unemployment and those with mental health problems.

Vulnerable people like Willow have suffered most during the recession: “Living with severe mental health problems is challenging. I didn’t know what I would do without my disability allowance. The local Law Centre has given me back my safety and security.”

Willow is a young woman living with severe mental illness. She has spent time in hospital being treated for acute mental health problems. In spite of this her disability allowance was taken away when she was moved to PIP. A huge drop in her weekly income left her in an emotionally distressing and desperate situation. With the help of her local Law Centre, Willow fought and won an appeal to reinstate her disability allowance and a payment of £2,500 in arrears. The extra money makes all the difference to Willow’s life and gives her the security she needs to be able to focus on her wellbeing.

Cuts in civil legal aid and council grants have made access to free legal advice in the capital scarce. There are fewer Legal Aid firms in the high street, some advice centres have closed and others have had to severely reduce casework staff.

Lawyers from all corners of the legal profession came together to raise funds for those in urgent need of legal help. The most senior judges and QCs walked side by side with law students; corporate lawyers; high street solicitors and front-line caseworkers. Many in-house lawyers from multinational companies will be walking.

Sir Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls says: “We walked to raise funds for free legal advice charities supported by the London Legal Support Trust.

“The need for these charities has grown over the past few years while resources for their work have diminished.

“That makes the funds raised by the London Legal Walk more important than ever.”

President of the Law Society of England and Wales Robert Bourns says: “The London Legal Walk is a great way for us to come together to support charities that provide legal advice day in, day out, helping a hugely diverse range of people, many of them vulnerable and facing frightening legal situations. And remember those least able to afford legal advice can often be in most urgent need of it. Solicitors and the wider legal profession are committed to helping them.”

Vicky Ling, Chief Executive of the Trust says: “We are delighted that the legal profession have again risen to the challenge and have turned out in even greater numbers than before.

“Free legal advice services change people’s lives, providing them with expert help to reduce debt, poverty and homelessness, and combat discrimination and injustice. LLST work with the charities we fund to ensure every pound raised goes as far as it possibly can.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported the walk thus far, and please do continue to sponsor your friends, colleagues, family members and clients to help us break the fundraising record!”

22/05/2017. London, UK.

(Source: London Legal)

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