The West London-based Acton Law Shop should be congratulated for its encouraging first-year results, particularly those involved in running it and its supporters, including a range of firms and numerous lawyers – the shop acknowledges the active assistance of Bindmans.
To be virtually self-funding already, albeit with a proportion of income through donations, is a considerable achievement. So too is the level of use – around 100 clients per week, 50,000 a year.
Its dynamism is shown by the initiative taken to establish the community law course at a local university to counter the shortage of welfare lawyers. But the determination to spread its wings by forming local clinics and more law shops shows the commitment to its founders' vision of using lawyers to provide real access to justice.
But there is nothing special about the air in Acton – so here is a formula waiting for development elsewhere.