Home-grow your lawyers

Home-grow your lawyers

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 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. An alternative to the traditional training route is the new Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship.

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 (most solicitors will focus on one area of practice). The Chartered Legal Executive training route also incorporates key professional skills such as client care and legal research.

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, or the period of the apprenticeship, 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 Chartered 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 LLP 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.

In addition to ensuring technical competence, training is an excellent retention tool. You can reduce the cost to your business of losing a good employee, which includes not only the expense of finding a replacement, but also the work required to get a new member of staff up to speed.

To find out how to start your support staff, file handlers or paralegals on the road to becoming a Chartered Legal 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.

Legal apprenticeships

We also strongly recommend that you look at the options to employ an apprentice.

Whether impacted by the levy, looking to meet CSR objectives or interested in home-growing talent, our clients find a number of benefits to employing apprentices.