Largest legal foundation launches

Largest legal foundation launches

“To promote the advancement of legal education and the study of law in all its branches”.

– First 6 grant recipients announced

– Calling for applications

LONDON – Today The Legal Education Foundation (LEF) will celebrate its official launch with the announcement of its first [6] grants.  The Foundation is the charity established following the sale of the College of Law last year.  With a capital endowment of approximately £200 million, it will be one of the largest foundations in the sector.

Today it announces its first 6 grants:

  • Advocacy Training Council  (training advocates to deal with vulnerable witnesses)
  • Galleries of Justice (using historical legal buildings to teach children about law)
  • British and Irish Legal Information Institute, BAILII (providing free access to law reports on the internet)
  • Law Centre Network (legal advice for those who are unable to pay for it)
  • LawWorks (to support, promote and encourage a commitment to pro bono work)
  • Pathways Phase 3 (encouraging young people from less socially advantaged backgrounds to enter the law)

LEF Chairman, Guy Beringer said: “This is an important time for the legal sector. There are increased pressures on access to justice, access to the legal profession and access to legal education. These pressures affect the public as well as students of law and legal practitioners.

“We want the Foundation to support the many innovative and creative projects which are responding to these pressures.  As today’s announcement shows, the Foundation will seek to support a wide variety of organisations and will cast its net widely to cover all forms of legal education in many different social, professional and academic settings.

“Our next application deadline is October.  We face our own challenge of raising awareness of the Foundation and the breadth of its remit.  I hope this launch will help get the message out to a wide variety of organisations to get in touch.”

Details of the grant application process are on the website  Projects the Foundation are interested in supporting include:

  • Filling gaps in the provision of legal education at academic and professional level
  • Innovation in the structure and delivery of teaching at academic and professional level
  • The development of public and civic legal education
  • The advancement of mobility and diversity initiatives which provide access to employment in the profession
  • Thought leadership and research related to the development and structure of academic and professional legal education

Nicholas Green QC, Chairman, Advocacy Training Council:  “This will enable us to make a real contribution to access to justice and the development of fairer and more effective trial procedures in the crucial area of vulnerable witnesses.  The ATC’s on-going collaborative projects in relation to vulnerable witnesses and defendants, and the development of The Advocate’s Gateway, have been given added momentum by the Foundation’s grant”.

Julie Bishop, Director, Law Centres Network: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to provide training to Law Centre staff. Like the rest of the profession, they need to update their knowledge and skills continuously to ensure they provide an excellent service so some of the most vulnerable members of the community can enforce their rights.

“The grant has come at exactly the right time as the Ministry of Justice has cut funding for training. It is needed all the more now, with major changes to legal aid being implemented and charitable funding becoming tighter. We will be able to enhance its value through leverage of in kind contributions from legal firms.”


For further information, please contact Kathryn Adamson, 07717133595,

Notes to editors:

The Legal Education Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to the advancement of legal education and the study of law, was created in 2012 with the monies received from the sale of the education and training business of the College of Law (“the College”).

The College can trace its origins back to the 1870s from which time it has consistently delivered student focussed teaching and learning to meet the ever increasing demands for legal services.

Over the years, the College has adapted to ensure that it is able to meet the needs of the diverse legal and student communities and further the advancement of legal education.

Originally operating within the private sector as a partnership under the name Gibson and Weldon, in 1962 the business was merged with the Law Society School of Law to become a charity operating under the title The College of Law.

In 1975, the College obtained a Royal Charter and in 1996 the Charter was amended to place the College on a self-governing basis with the Law Society relinquishing the right to appoint governors.

In 2006, the College became the first non-public sector entity to obtain taught degree awarding powers (“TDAPs”), having met the exacting criteria in terms of governance and academic management; academic standards and quality assurance; scholarship and pedagogical effectiveness of academic staff and the environment supporting the delivery of taught programmes.

In November 2012, the work of the College was recognised when the Minister of State for Universities and Science agreed that the College could change its name to the University of Law.

The education and training business of the College has never received Higher Education Funding Council (“HEFCE”) funds. It has always been dependent solely on its own resources to finance its development and growth.

Following a major strategic review which concluded in 2012, the Governors resolved to sell the education and training business of the College and to devote the monies received to create a foundation to further its charitable objective.

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