About the LEF

About the LEF

We’re an independent foundation supporting communities across the UK to use the law to improve their lives and the lives of others. Our work is underpinned by our commitment to rebalancing power to confront injustice. We fund organisations which use the law to secure rights and address systemic failures. We also support work advocating for policy improvements and rule of law principles in the administration and development of law.

Through our funding programmes, we distribute around £6 million a year to charitable work across the UK, including supporting the next generation of social welfare lawyers through the Justice First Fellowship. We also host Justice Together, a funder collaboration with a ten-year vision to transform access to justice in the UK immigration system.

Our funds come from the sale of the College of Law in 2012, making us an independent funder.

To find out more about what we fund, you can read about our funding programmes here or our latest grants decisions here.

Our history

The Foundation was established in 2012 after the sale of The College of Law.

The College of Law was a charity which in 1975 was awarded a Royal Charter to promote legal education and the study of the law, following the merging of The Law Society School of Law with law tutorial firm Gibson and Weldon. By 2011, the College was educating over 7,500 students a year.

Following a major strategic review, the Governors of the College decided to sell the education and training business and use the funds generated by the sale to endow the organisation and to pursue our charitable purpose as a grantmaking foundation. The £200 million net proceeds from the sale have been invested and the return on these investments are distributed through our programmes.

In 2021, we received permission from the Privy Council and the Charity Commission to widen the charitable objects of the Foundation. Alongside the promotion of legal education and study of law, we also now promote the “sound development and administration of law.”

© 2013 - 2024 The Legal Education Foundation
Registered charity 271297 (England/Wales)