The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Studying with CILEx CILEx has a network of over 80 accredited study centres in England and Wales that are approved to deliver CILEx courses and quality assured to CILEx standards. CILEx examinations take place twice a year, in January and June, andmay be taken at separate examination sittings to suit your plans and study needs. Distance learning is offered through specialist study centres, including CILEx Law School which is wholly owned by CILEx. Training to be a solicitor A career as a chartered legal executive lawyer is a worthwhile, rewarding and fulfilling career in its own right, but CILEx does recognise that there are those who have more traditional ambitions. CILEx qualifications can be used to count toward qualifying as a solicitor. As a fellow of CILEx, you may be exempt from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) training contract. It is important that you contact the SRA to get full details, as this exemption is wholly at its discretion. Salaries Salaries will vary according to your location and legal specialism. Starting salaries are usually up to £20,000 per year while qualifying. Many trainee CILEx members report that they are on higher salaries than the trainee solicitors they work alongside. After completion of your CILEx qualifications, you can expect to earn, on average, £35,000 and above. Once fully qualified (having completed three years of qualifying work experience), you can expect to earn, on average, up to £45,500; if you work in a big city or become a partner in a firm, you can earn much more (salaries of over £100,000 have been stated). What chartered legal executives do Most chartered legal executives start out as paralegals. The term applies to any
member of staff progressing files under supervision. Professional responsibilities then increase with experience. Fully qualified and experienced chartered legal executives are able to undertake many of the legal activities that solicitors do and often supervise solicitors and other legal staff. They will have their own clients and represent them in court. Although chartered legal executives can be involved in many areas of law, the most common areas of specialism are: • conveyancing – the legal side of buying and selling property; • family – advising on divorce and matters affecting children; • crime – defending and prosecuting people accused of crimes; • company and business law – advising on legislation that affects clients’ businesses such as tax, contract and employment law; • litigation – advising clients who are in dispute with someone else; • probate – dealing with wills, trusts and inheritance tax; and • personal injury – handling accident claims. All CILEx members are independently regulated by CILEx Regulation and must adhere to a code of conduct. They are required to continue training throughout their careers in order to keep abreast of the latest developments in the law. Where chartered legal executives work Chartered legal executives are found in many of the top UK law firms, but it is not just legal firms that employ them. Such lawyers fill key legal roles in a wide variety of government bodies, local authorities, charities and business organisations, including Caterpillar, HSBC, Admiral Insurance, Disney Corporation, the UK Border Agency, the Ministry of Defence, the Crown Prosecution Service, the NHS, county councils, the RSPCA and The Peabody Trust. They also join in-house legal teams and are represented in some of the top companies in the UK.
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