I see the Legal Services Commission has published the list of firms who have been awarded legal aid training contracts for 2007. There are some 71 firms on the list, but the LSC says that this year the scheme "will award a further 100 grants nationally". The scheme offers "a package of over £30,000 per grant", which by my calculation comes to over £3 million pounds.
This makes me laugh. For years the LSC and its predecessors have effectively cut back on legal aid rates of pay, with the inevitable result that fewer and fewer people want to do the work, and now they are spending large sums of money to entice (bribe?) people into legal aid work! Even if the scheme is entirely successful and results in 100 new legal aid lawyers a year, this is hardly going to offset the stampede of lawyers giving up legal aid.