The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) wants to give the legal system a new
legitimacy in the eyes of the public, by training its administrative staff to
In the past, the legal profession has been criticised for not being remotely
representative of the community it serves.
Since the scheme started six months ago, 230 staff have taken the chance to
become solicitors or barristers.
The CPS hopes the scheme will increase diversity and help the service become
more inclusive by encouraging people who face educational and financial
barriers to joining the profession.
The CPS will invest £4m in the next three years to enable its employees to
be sponsored to undertake part-time law courses, which can take up to eight
years to complete.
HR director Angela O’Connor said there was a lot of untapped talent in the
CPS, which could benefit both local communities and the organisation itself.
"With this scheme, we are engaging people from local communities, and
since our basic business is making communities safer, this is critical,"
"It is also a good message to the organisation and helps morale when
staff know you’re willing to invest in them – it says we think they’re worth
it," said O’Connor.
The CPS is the biggest law firm in the UK, employing 7,499 staff, a third of
whom are lawyers. It deals with 1.5 million cases a year in the UK courts.