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How to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive

A Chartered Legal Executive is a qualified lawyer specialising in a particular area of law. There are great opportunities for legal executives to work in law firms, in corporate in-house legal departments, or in local or national government. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is the professional body which governs the education and training of Chartered Legal Executives. Please also see the 'What is a Chartered Legal Executive?' page of this site.

Outline training route

The academic part of the CILEx training programme is made up of two stages of training – the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and the CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. If you have a qualifying law degree you should instead follow courses leading to the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma. Full details of the units that you can select from, and the rules governing the selection of units, can be found on the qualification pages by clicking the links above. CILEx Law School provides courses for all subjects.

Once you complete the Level 3 stage of your academic training, or if you already have a law degree, you will become an Associate Member of CILEx, and after you complete the Level 6 stage you will become a Graduate Member of CILEx. You also need to fulfil the qualifiying employment requirements in order to become a Chartered Legal Executive, which are set out below.

Flexibility

A key feature of the CILEx qualifications is the flexibility they offer.  You can spread the overall period of study for each of the qualifications over a long period of time if you need to do that to keep on top of other commitments. There is no time limit within which the units that contribute to each of the qualifications need to be studied. This means that you can study individual units at your own pace, fitting them in around family and work. You can even take a complete break from studying to fit in major life events. Read how some of our students have taken advantage of the flexibility of the CILEx qualifications.

LLB option

We have introduced a new training route for students who already hold A levels or equivalent, and who would like to study for a law degree whilst completing their legal executive qualification at the same time. 

Qualifying employment

Qualifying employment is work of a legal nature under the supervision of a solicitor or Chartered Legal Executive, barrister or licensed conveyancer. Employment can be in legal practice, in the legal department of a private company or in local/national government. The requirement is for

  • a minimum of three years’ experience
  • the final two years must be served consecutively
  • the final year must be in the Graduate Member grade of CILEx
  • completion of a portfolio of evidence which shows that the work-based learning criteria have been met, demonstrated by the submission of a logbook and portfolio covering 27 outcomes.

You should register for the scheme before starting to collate your portfolio of evidence.

More detailed information is available on the CILEx website.

Exemptions

Exemptions from part of the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice may be available if you have A level Law, or if you hold a City & Guilds/CILEx Level 2 Certificate in Legal Studies. These are granted at the discretion of CILEx so you should confirm your entitlement with the CILEx awards department on 01234 841000 before enrolling on any courses with CILEx Law School. If you have a qualifying law degree you need only complete the units leading to the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma to achieve Graduate Membership of CILEx. Exemption fees are payable in respect of the law units.

Entrance requirements

To embark on the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, you are strongly recommended to have a minimum of four GCSE grades C or above, including English Language or Literature, or qualifications at an equivalent level. If you do not have any formal qualifications we recommend that you study for a City & Guilds/CILEx Level 2 Certificate in Legal Studies before embarking on the legal executive training route.

You should register with CILEx as a member at the same time as you enrol on your training courses with CILEx Law School. Your level of membership will depend on your current qualifications. Please contact CILEx on 01234 841000 or visit CILEx's careers website for full details of the route to qualification and to apply for CILEx membership.

Student testimonials

Read how some of our students have used the CILEx qualifications to develop their careers.

Choosing CILEx instead of a law degree
Choosing the CILEx route after the LLB
Getting in to the legal profession at the ground floor
Getting into an in-house legal department
Building on a career as a legal secretary
Using the CILEx Level 3 Certificate to get into law
Taking advantage of CLEx's flexibility
Using CILEx for a career change
Using CILEx to develop a career in your 30s and 40s
A second chance to build a professional career

Sue Scrace on how to use CILEx to develop a law career: 

 

Call Now

To speak to one of our advisors about studying to become a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer call us on 01234 844300. Our office hours are 8.45am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Friday, or email us on itslaw@cilexlawschool.ac.uk with your query or to request a prospectus.

Wendy Buchan

Graduate Member of CILEx

I was an unqualified paralegal in the private client department of Brachers for almost 15 years before deciding to take up the challenge of studying to be a professional lawyer. ... read full