The College of Law has created and is funding a training contract in legal aid practice, to be known as the ‘Henry Hodge Traineeship’.
The training contract is in memory of the College’s former Deputy Chair of Governors, Sir Henry Hodge, a leading pioneer in legal aid practice who sadly died of leukaemia in June 2009.
The successful applicant will be employed under a training contract by The College of Law and will spend the first year in the College’s Legal Advice Centre at its London Bloomsbury centre, commencing in September 2010.
For the second year they will be seconded to Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, in North Gower Street, NW1, the leading firm of legal aid lawyers of which Henry Hodge was a founding partner in 1977.
Legal aid pioneer Sir Henry Hodge The firm has various specialist practise areas including criminal defence, civil liberties, family law, personal injury, military claims, clinical negligence, serious fraud, dispute resolution and housing law.
Applications for the Henry Hodge Traineeship are open to those who have taken, or are about to complete, their LPC at the College and who have already demonstrated a strong commitment to legal aid practice, either through taking the Legal Aid LPC Pathway or in other ways.
Richard de Friend, Chair of the Academic Board at The College of Law said: “I am delighted that the College is honouring Henry Hodge’s life and work with the traineeship. The trainee solicitor will work in the Legal Advice Centre on housing, immigration and employment cases in their first twelve months, assisting people who cannot afford legal services and even some who are totally destitute.
“Henry Hodge’s dedication to legal aid will be remembered in every activity the trainee undertakes and in their second year the trainee will join the firm that Henry set up as a champion of legal aid.” Admitted as a solicitor in 1970, Henry Hodge led a distinguished career. He pioneered legal aid practice and helped right historic wrongs, including ground-breaking test cases for black soldiers suffering discrimination in the Armed Forces.
He went on to take a leading role in the National Council for Civil Liberties, Child Poverty Action, the Legal Aid Board and the Law Society. In 2004, he became only the third solicitor ever to be made a High Court Judge, and was appointed Chief Immigration Adjudicator.
Patrick Allen, Senior Partner of Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, and co-founding partner of Hodge Jones & Allen with Henry Hodge, said: “This traineeship will be a fitting tribute to Henry and his immense commitment to social welfare and legal aid work.
“Henry spent his life as a solicitor championing the cause of legal representation and advice for disadvantaged members of society. Central to that work is the training of new generations of legal aid lawyers. The Henry Hodge Traineeship will help to launch the legal aid lawyers of the future to provide this essential service.”
The closing date for applications is June 30, 2010. Potential applicants wanting more information should contact Professor Sara Chandler, Pro Bono Coordinator at The College of Law, Bloomsbury: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College of Law intends to establish the Henry Hodge Traineeship as an ongoing commitment with the second traineeship planned to begin in September 2012.
The College is the leading provider of professional legal education and training in Europe with centres in London, Birmingham, Chester, Guildford, Manchester, York and a new centre opening in Bristol in September.