Chartered legal executives are qualified lawyers who specialise in a particular area of law in England and Wales
A chartered legal executive is an authorised lawyer. Chartered legal executives often specialise in an area of law, and carry out reserved legal work alongside solicitors or CILEx Practitioners.
The legal work includes:
- criminal law
- company and business law
- personal injury
- family law
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- advise clients and explain legal matters
- contact mortgage lenders, planning officers or other professionals on behalf of clients
- research and summarise legal information
- prepare legal documents
- write to clients
- draw up wills
- prepare contracts
- represent clients in court
- prepare bills for clients.
- As a CILEx apprentice, you’ll earn between £15,000 and £28,000.
- After completing the CILEx qualification, your salary can rise to £38,000.
- Once you’ve got the required three years of relevant work experience, you can earn in the range of £35,000 to £55,000.
You’ll typically work standard office hours Monday to Friday, although you may need to work longer hours with occasional weekend work, averaging 39 to 41 hours a week.
You could work at a police station, in a court or in an office.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice chartered legal executive include:
- Level 6 Chartered Legal Executive – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 60 months to complete.
As part of this apprenticeship you will study to gain the following professional qualification:
- CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.
On a chartered legal executive apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- excellent verbal communication skills
- excellent written communication skills
- the ability to work well with others
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.
Typical employers are medium to large-sized firms of solicitors, including:
- high street practices, dealing with legal matters in the local community
- medium-sized firms, combining private client and commercial work
- large commercial firms catering for business clients.
Once certified, you must maintain your education and professional development throughout your career. Accordingly, CILEx members must yearly engage in nine continuous professional development (CPD) events. One of them must be in professionalism, which relates to you as a professional rather than the area of law in which you practise.
CPD activities include attending training seminars, conferences, and networking events provided in-house by your company or via organisations such as CILEx Law School and The Law Society.
You may develop your skills by coaching or mentoring students and teaching them. There are also opportunities to publish articles or research papers in peer-reviewed journals and pursue postgraduate study and research.
Qualified chartered legal executives have several job options. As you gain experience and skills, you can take on increasingly difficult cases and build a vast customer base. This may lead to managing your specialised department in a law firm, where you will supervise other chartered legal executives, student legal executives, administrative workers, and younger attorneys. In smaller practices, you can advance to the position of practise manager. Finally, after accumulating expertise, you may apply for further practise rights and establish your own CILEx-regulated firm.
You may also learn to become a certified legal executive advocate, which gives you more audience rights in civil, criminal, and family proceedings and permits you to represent clients in various settings, including county and magistrates’ courts. You will also be in charge of cases from inception to end.
With five years of post-qualification experience, you may apply for many judicial posts, including deputy district judge, employment judge, and district judge.
After completing the Solicitors Qualifying Examination, you may also become a solicitor (SQE).