Header navigation

Want to be a lawyer that makes a real difference to people's lives?

e.g. London

Think about a career in Refugee and Asylum Law

The number of people seeking refugee and asylum status globally has worryingly ballooned over the last 10 years. According to the UNHCR estimates, over 117 million people were forcibly displaced by the end of 2023. That equates to 1 in every 69 people on Earth. In 2011, the UK received approx. 25,000 asylum claims and in 2022, this number increased to 74,751 according to the Refugee Council. In 2009, the Home Office backlog stood at approx. 19,000 cases, but by the end of 2022, this surged to 132,182 according to The Migration Observatory

So, what are the reasons?

There are multiple intersecting factors at play here. Successive budget cuts and lack of political will, Covid 19, more people seeking asylum due to instability around the world, Home Office inefficiencies, eroding legal aid, the list goes on and there is no one easy solution to the crisis. 

Over the last 20 years, the number of immigration legal practices has dwindled and there are shortages of immigration practitioners. On account of years of underinvestment in legal aid and a perception of low salaries, the number of people qualifying as immigration practitioners has dropped significantly. Often seen as financially unviable and an overly complex area of law with less scope for positive outcomes, only a handful of law firms are offering immigration advice, and it’s now mainly being offered by charities, NGOs, and pro-bono organisations which is resulting in 'advice deserts' in some parts of England. 

However, things are starting to change.  Not only are asylum applications down but also more caseworkers have been recruited and now is a good time to think about immigration law. There are some fantastic opportunities out there and if you are the type of person who really wants to make a difference, and have the intellectual thirst to master one of the most technical areas of law, then you should really think about qualifying as an immigration law practitioner. At LawQWE, we have several great immigration paralegal roles for aspiring lawyers looking to work in this area.

Once you are affiliated with an organisation, there is the possibility of gaining immigration accreditation. Immigration and Asylum Law Accreditation is open to paralegals employed at a practice or an organisation that is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) or the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The accreditation covers all immigration work that can be done under a Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract and used as a quality mark for privately funded work.