The Centre for Professional Legal Studies (CPLS) at Strathclyde University Law School was for many years the vehicle for delivering the Diploma in Legal Practice at Strathclyde. In 2008 under Professor Alan Paterson, as Director, it also became Scotland’s only Think Tank with a focus on : access to justice and legal aid, the legal profession, professional ethics and the judiciary.
The Centre responds to consultation papers, conducts empirical research projects, commissions and publishes relevant reports, holds Chatham House seminars and retreats for the Government, the legal profession, the consumer movement, legal academics, the Scottish Legal Aid Board and other key stakeholders in the justice system. The CPLS also organises international conferences.
Seminars & Conferences
In the last five years the Centre has held a dozen Chatham House stakeholder events on issues ranging from Alternative Business Structures to the Gill Review and from Environmental Access to Justice to the Future of Scotland’s large law firms.
Each year the centre hosts a two day retreat at Ross Priory, Loch Lomond organised by Professor Richard Susskind and the Director, on issues to do with the future of the legal profession, with participants from the USA, and the UK.
Every two years Professor Paterson, as Chair of the International Legal Aid Group (ILAG), organises a conference through CPLS in different parts of the globe, for the leading researchers and policymakers in the legal aid field. The most recent conference, entitled ‘Legal Aid in Difficult Times’, took place in The Hague in June of 2013. For more information see www.ilagnet.org.
Roger Smith and Alan Paterson (February 2014), 'Face to Face Legal Services and THeir Alternatives: Global Lessons from the Digital Revolution' CPLS - see Face to Face
Sarah O’Neil (August 2013), ‘A Consumer Perspective on the Current System for Dealing with Complaints About Legal Practitioners in Scotland’, CPLS - see CPLS Report
Professor Alan Paterson & Chris Paterson (October 2012), ‘Guarding the Guardians? Towards an independent, Accountable and Diverse Senior Judiciary’, CPLS and Centre Forum - see Guarding the Guardians?
2012-2013 Nuffield Foundation Award – ‘Face to Face Legal Services & Their Alternatives’ (with Roger Smith)
2011-2012 Hong Kong Legal Aid Services Council Award, – Country Report for ‘The Feasibility & Desirability of Establishing an Independent Legal Aid Authority Project’ (through Deloitte, Hong Kong)
2011 – 2013 The Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship