The Legal Aid Agency (LAA), the government agency responsible for public legal funding, requires all advisers working under a legal aid contract in immigration law to be accredited under the IAAS. The IAAS is also open to solicitors and their staff who do not do publically funded work. There are three levels to this scheme.
Information on the Law Society’s immigration and asylum accreditation scheme is not easy to obtain. Responsibility for the scheme is divided between several organisations, as follows:
-The LAA requires those providing advice and representation under an immigration legal aid contract to be accredited under the Law Society scheme. The LAA website (now incorporated into the Ministry of Justice’s website) is notoriously difficult to navigate but is the place to look for information about the requirement to be accredited (and reaccredited).
-The Law Society. The accreditation scheme is run by the Law Society. The Law Society website is the place to look for information about the requirements of the scheme see here. Guidance on the standards you need to achieve at each level is extremely scant. The current ‘Guidance’ dated December 2015 simply lays out the broad areas of knowledge and understanding that are required. Please click the following link for access to the the latest LAA Guidance – Law Society Guidance
-Central Law Training. CLT administer the examinations and their website is the place to look for information about when the next round of examinations is scheduled. The website also contains a past paper in each category (i.e. written exam, drafting assessment and interview assessment) for practise purposes.
Further past examination papers are not publicly available. Those attending HJT Training courses will be given access to training materials, including sample questions, not available on the CLT website.