Aika Stephenson

JfKL Co-Lead / Co-Founder and Legal Director

Aika founded Just for Kids Law alongside Shauneen Lambe in 2006. She is a solicitor and youth justice expert with years of experience representing young people in criminal proceedings and particularly those with Special Educational Needs. Since April 2017, she has led the organisation’s criminal work after Just for Kids Law was awarded its first criminal legal aid contract. Previously, Aika worked for nine years as a youth specialist at a busy West London firm before joining Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors in 2014, where she ran their youth team as well as heading up programmes at Just for Kids Law.

Aika started her career working for the Children’s Society at Feltham Young Offenders Institute as an Advocate before going on to Westminster Youth Offending Team. In recognition of her work in the legal community, Aika was awarded Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) in June 2007. This prestigious award, presented by Cherie Booth QC, gives Aika credit for her exceptional commitment and dedication to helping young people. In 2014, Aika was named as one of Britain’s top 50 part-time executives on the Timewise Power List. In 2015, both Shauneen and Aika were selected as two of the 67 ‘Change Makers’ invited to take part in the 67 Change Makers: Festival of Love 2015. The festival took inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of public service. They were picked because they are dedicated to making changes in their community and having a positive impact on the lives of others.

In 2018, Aika was named Criminal Defence Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her ground-breaking work in youth justice, thereby becoming the first individual to be awarded two LALY awards.

Aika is a 2018 LALY Award winner

Area of work
Criminal law