site map | 17 October 2018

“CILEx Law School staff are efficient, friendly and sympathetic.”

CILEx Law School Student Survey


Home grow your own lawyers as Chartered Legal Executives

There are good reasons why law firms and other organisations sponsor staff to become qualified lawyers while working in a paralegal capacity. An employee who displays the right attitudes and skills can become a higher-level fee earner or manager with the necessary qualifications.

Why choose the Chartered Legal Executive training route?

Investing in people can be expensive, so an organisation needs to be confident that their money, and/or time, is properly targeted to generate a return. Qualifying your staff to become Chartered Legal Executives can be more cost-effective than the, often unquestioned, solicitor training route. Increasingly organisations are recognising that Chartered Legal Executive lawyers can make the same contribution as solicitor colleagues, but are less expensive to develop.

Training for the Chartered Legal Executive qualification leads to the development of competent, specialist lawyers. Whilst providing an all-round knowledge of key legal concepts, higher-level study is more focused than in the solicitor training route, so most of the knowledge and skills acquired can be selected to ensure that they are directly relevant to the sponsoring organisation's business. This is in stark comparison to the LPC where a very expensive course covers a wide range of legal practice subjects, most of which will be unused by the student in his/her working life.  The Chartered Legal Executive training route also incorporates key professional skills such as client care and legal research.

Read more about using CILEx qualifications for staff development and retention through our case study of Sills & Betteridge, and the profiles of their employees at all levels who are studying CILEx qualifications.

What is the cost?

The cost of training a paralegal to become a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer is approximately £7,852.65 excluding VAT.

Costs of training a paralegal with no relevant qualifications to become a Chartered Legal Executive Ex VAT Inc VAT*
Year 1 CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (five units) course fees £1162,50 ex VAT; assessment fees £292.50; CILEx Student membership (including first registration fee) £95


Year 2 CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice (remaining five units - one two-unit bundle and one three-unit bundle of courses) course fees £1383.33; assessment fees £327.50; CILEx Affiliate membership £125 £1835.83 £2112.50
Year 3 CILEx Level 6 (one law unit, one practice unit and the Client Care Skills unit) course fees £1712.49; assessment fees £283; CILEx Associate membership £185 £2180.49 £2523
Year 4 CILEx Level 6 (two law units and the Legal Research unit) course fees £1633.33; assessment fees £283; CILEx Associate membership £185; application for Fellowship £150 £2136.33 £2463
   Total £7852.65 £9031

 * CILEx membership and assessment fees do not attract VAT

Costs of training a law graduate paralegal to become a Chartered Legal Executive
 Year 1 ILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma course fees £1712.49 ex VAT (two practice law units and one client care skills unit); assessment fees £283; CILEx exemption fee £200; CILEx Associate memberships (including first registration fee) £225; work based learning registration £35; application for Fellowship £150 £2605.49

These costs are for studying with CILEx Law School during the academic year 2015-16. Additional expenses such as travel to external examination centres and any examination re-sit fees have been disregarded. In some cases students may wish to purchase an additional extra expense text for Level 6 law units.

What is the business case?

In many cases the charge out rate for an experienced Chartered Legal Executive can be comparable to that of a solicitor, but the cost of training is significantly less. Throughout their training, Chartered Legal Executive lawyers gain expertise in legal skills such as legal research, client care and negotiation while acquiring expert knowledge in an area of practice. Most prospective legal executives can become fee earners well before they qualify, so the costs of training are being recouped by the sponsoring employer as they go along.

As well as the reassurance that you’ll develop your staff into effective specialist practitioners, there are further benefits to using the Chartered Legal Executive route. Chartered Legal Executive lawyers are eligible for partnership in a LDP and, with additional training, can become advocates in criminal, civil or family matters. Should you prefer to train your staff to become solicitors then this can be achieved through the Chartered Legal Executive route too, with all of the benefits of gaining full legal qualification on the way.

To find out how to start your support staff, file handlers or paralegals on the road to becoming a Chartered Legal Executive executive lawyer please look at our 'How to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive' page or, for law graduates, our 'CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma' page. 

Featured client - JSP Solicitors

Lesley Smith, Human Resources manager at JSP solicitors in Lincolnshire says:

"We have sponsored many employees through the CILEx qualification. We have had excellent results with our students who have all turned out to be exceptional case handlers.

It is a real win/win situation for both the employee and employer. The employee, of course, has no student loan to pay back which has got to be a big bonus to them and a good reason for them to choose the CILEx qualification." 

JSP Solicitors CILEx Law School students Sam Sleight, Amanda Needham, Christine Onyemah and Elliott Griffen


Successful students pictured are, from left, Sam Sleight, Amanda Needham, Christine Onyemah and Elliott Griffen








Featured client - Cripps Harries Hall LLP 

Glynis Read, Operations Manager at Cripps Harries Hall says, of the support given to Gail Hebditch, a a legal secretary:

“Gail came through the ranks from being a legal secretary to becoming a graduate member of CILEx and an excellent fee earner. She’s on her way to qualify as a legal executive and will do so for a very reasonable sum. She’s been worth her weight in gold.

 She also feels very committed to the firm because we’ve supported her studies.”    

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact Jenny Pelling, our Director of Business and Apprenticeships, on 01234 844326 or email

Call Now

To find out how we can help you to develop your staff call Noel Inge on 01234 844325, or email

Lesley Smith

Human Resources Manager, JSP Solicitors

JSP have sponsored many employees through the CILEx course. We have had excellent results with our students who have all turned out to be exceptional case handlers. ... read full