Industry awards 2016
In 2016 CILEx Law School’s work as an innovative supplier to the legal sector has been recognised by being highly commended for two awards and shortlisted for a further two:
Legal Week Innovation Awards – Highly commended, Supplier category
Modern Law Awards – Highly commended, Supporting the Industry category
Solicitors Journal Awards – Shortlisted, Legal Education Provider of the Year
Halsbury Legal Awards – Shortlisted, Award for Diversity and Inclusion
Our nominations for these awards related to our work in legal apprenticeships and also our innovative delivery of CILEx training to meet the business needs of legal services organisations.
CILEx Law School introduced legal apprenticeships when these first became available in 2013. To introduce appentices we had to innovate and dramatically change our way of working to:
- Recruit and train a network of legal assessors to visit apprentices in the workplace and assess their progress. We provided intensive training for legally qualified staff to become apprentice assessors and also put them through external assessor qualifications, leading to the external verifier reporting that “all assessors demonstrated excellent assessment practice.”
- Introduce interactive webinar delivery of teaching to supplement face-to-face teaching so that all apprentices could receive training no matter where they were based.
- Create management information reports based on the use of a new e-portfolio of apprentices’ work.
- Establish a network of legal apprentices so that they had a peer structure outside the workplace as additional support
In our awards submissions we were able to demonstrate a completion rate of 83%, compared to the national figures for apprenticeship completions published by the Skills Funding Agency of 69%. Our rate for ‘timely completion’ of our apprentices is 86% by comparison to the national average of 55%. Additionally our apprentices’ exam results in the summer of 2015 and 2016 were higher than the CILEx national average.
Our achievement is significant as a CSR initiative, which has given non-graduate opportunities to young people who would previously have found it hard to gain a career in law. One of our apprentices Bethany left school with BTEC qualifications, and won CILEx Apprentice of the Year in 2015.
We were able to demonstrate in our award submissions that we had had repeat apprenticeship business from Addleshaw Goddard, Admiral Law, Bevan Brittan, Bond Dickinson, Brethertons, the BBC, Clyde & Co, Hill Dickinson, HMRC, and Kennedys, demonstrating our customer care and client satisfaction.
Alison Neil, L&D Manager at the BBC’s legal department said:“CILEx Law School have been incredibly supportive of our efforts to establish a legal apprentice programme. Jenny and her team hand-held us through the entire process, patiently explaining all the necessary steps and providing advice, supervision and training as required. We are preparing to take on our second intake of apprentices and to expand the scheme. We now also offer a paralegal route through CILEx which has allowed us to support more existing staff in developing their careers.”
CILEx Law School supports the legal sector through delivering training to staff employed in over 1,000 client organisations. Training leads to recognised qualifications awarded by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). In larger organisations we increasingly deliver this training to cohorts of staff in the context of CILEx ‘academies’, where we offer in-house teaching to supplement our flexible learning courses. Employers who take advantage of our training for their staff can enjoy the following benefits:
- Non-graduate recruits, or current employees who show potential, can become skilled in the organisation’s specific area of practice.Introductory training leads to a CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice. Organisations can select the best fit with the employee’s role from ten legal practice areas. For example, staff working in the BBC’s Commercial Rights & Business Affairs Department study Contract Law and Civil Litigation as their first law and practice courses.
- Training support staff in law and practice means that supervisors can delegate with confidence. Following training, file-handling staff can exercise judgement and identify matters for supervisor referral, and are not simply following procedures. Outcome O (7.6) of the SRA Code of Conduct, requiring that employers ‘train individuals working in the firm to maintain a level of competence appropriate to their work and level of responsibility’ is also met.
- Employees sponsored through legal training generally become very loyal members of staff. Staff members who show aptitude for further training can be developed to create the next generation of team leaders and partners. Lond-standing academy clients, such as Irwin Mitchell and DWF, now have members of staff who have qualified as Chartered Legal Executive lawyers. Clients find that ‘home-growing’ their own lawyers in this way leads to excellent retention and loyalty. In turn this leads to improved staff morale, more consistent service to clients and a reduction in recruitment costs.
Rachel Maclean, partner at Sills & Betteridge, says: “We have many students within our firm who have started at different levels, including several who have come straight from Sixth Form, who usually would have gone on to university. As a business, we are able to grow our own lawyers and mould them to our way of work at that very early stage when they have just left school. This has helped our business strengthen and develop. Lincolnshire is a difficult place to recruit; we have multiple offices on the east coast and it is always difficult to recruit qualified staff to these areas. We see CILEx as a way to plug the talent gap.
CILEx qualifications have provided our staff with an ability to train and qualify on the job, but also to develop their studies and qualifications. This all helps with morale, which has a major impact and benefit for the firm. ”
- Legal services organisations can fulfil CSR objectives by recruiting from the local community. International law firm Trowers & Hamlins set up a CILEx academy in November 2015. Nine staff employed as paralegals and team assistants based in London, Manchester and Birmingham were enrolled in November 2015 on courses leading to the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice following a competitive internal application process.
Kate Worzencraft, Head of Learning and Development at Trowers, said at the time: "The Trowers & Hamlins CILEx Academy is a new and exciting venture for the firm, which has carved out a professional career development path for our paralegals and others wishing to pursue their legal career here. Working with CILEx Law School is a pleasure. They are highly knowledgeable and helpful every step of the way for our students."
- Training is delivered using CLS’s supported distance learning method, but in the context of a sponsored, timetabled programme and additional support delivered at our clients' premises by our regionally-based teaching team. The performance of students in our in-house academies is consistently excellent. In the June 2016 sitting, the pass rate at Level 3 was 86% by comparison to an overall average for CILEx students of 69%; at Level 3 this was 82% by comparison to a national average of 59%.
To find out how your organisation can benefit from our services please contact Jenny Pelling on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 844326.