Coventry lecturer elected to Law Society as fight continues for access to justice

Coventry lecturer elected to Law Society as fight continues for access to justice
Alumni news

Wednesday 02 August 2017

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A Coventry University graduate and lecturer will continue his fight for access to justice and Legal Aid after being elected to the Council of the Law Society.

Alan East, senior lecturer in law at the University, will now represent solicitors working across Coventry and Warwickshire to promote the rule of law and ensure high professional standards in the legal profession.

Alan sat as President of the Warwickshire Law Society in 2015. He graduated from a legal degree at Coventry Law School in 2000 and qualified as a solicitor three years later. 

He spent four years as a criminal defence advocate, and served as a senior Crown Prosecutor from 2007 to 2009 where he managed his own niche practice before taking up a teaching position at Coventry University in 2010.

He will now use the position on the national council to act on behalf of residents and fight for access to justice, as well as continuing work to ensure everyone has an equal right to representation regardless of background or income.  

Alan East said:

“I am honoured to be elected to this important position. The Law Society does fantastic work nationally and internationally to ensure our legal profession remains an important part of the justice system.

I want to fight for access to justice across Coventry and Warwickshire, and make sure that local people have real confidence in the legal profession.

 It is four years since a law was passed bringing about major changes to Legal Aid, essentially reducing it - making it much harder for those eligible and completely unavailable to many others.

 There is no question that this has had a detrimental impact on local justice as we see the number of cases dropping in areas including employment and family law, coupled with more and more appeals against the refusal to grant some benefits to those in most need of them.

 It makes the position of the Council of the Law Society more crucial to justice than ever.”

Alan is behind positive action being taken by Coventry University to help fill the gap left by changes through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Set up last year, Coventry Law Centre’s Legal Clinic is a student partnership to offer free employment advice to people who can no longer access Legal Aid to bring employment cases forward.

The scheme offers second and final year students the chance to work with solicitors at Central England Law Centre and has so far helped more than 500 residents across the city.