Use CILEx qualifications to develop staff at all levels – Sills & Betteridge

CILEx qualifications can be used to target training to staff according to their educational background and experience. Our case study client Sills & Betteridge currently sponsors 12 employees who are working towards CILEx qualifications and the following staff profiles illustrate how these can be used:

Previous education: GCSEs
Currently studying: CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
Role: paralegal in Court of Protection and probate matters

Amber Roberts worked as a legal cashier at a small law firm after leaving school with GCSEs. She says: “Being constantly around law made me realise my interest. I started to help out in various departments when required before moving full time into legal work. I am now a paralegal at Sills & Betteridge with my own caseload consisting mainly of Court Protection files, with some wills, trust and probate files.” Amber is about to start on the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice – the first stage of CILEx training. She adds: “CILEx appears a great alternative to spending £9,000 a year on university whilst not getting any experience. I am pleased to have found a well-recognised qualification that people at any level can complete that is reasonably priced and will not stop me from working, earning and learning all at the same time. At present, I would definitely recommend it to others starting out in law.”

Education: A level including law
Currently studying: CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
Role: conveyancing assistant

Charlotte Needham volunteered at a local firm of solicitors whilst studying law as one of her A Levels at Sixth Form College. She says: “I could never get excited about going to university, so this led me to explore my other options into a law career. I was doing work experience at a local solicitors’ firm at the time and learnt about the route from the chartered legal executives in the firm.” She got a job as a receptionist/office junior on leaving college and immediately started studying her CILEx exams. She now works in the conveyancing team at Sills & Betteridge as a conveyancing assistant/legal secretary and says: “This supports my study of the land law and conveyancing units, meaning that I am utilising the information and skills I am learning in my day to day role.

She adds: “I intend to study for the full professional CILEx qualification. As I am only 20 years old, I feel that CILEx’s flexibility allows me to qualify at my own pace, gaining priceless experience whilst working alongside studying. I feel that the CILEx route is excellent for practical minded people such as myself, who tend to learn through practice alongside studying. Gaining qualifications whilst working is extremely desirable in today’s society and I feel that CILEx offers a fantastic opportunity for progression in a law career.”

Education: law graduate
Currently studying: CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma
Role: paralegal in the claims department

Jemma Burt studied law at university and says: “I attended a lecture which was given at university on CILEx as an alternative route. I knew that an LPC wasn’t really an option for me because of the cost together with living costs and I would have had to work at the same time. I felt that it was too much of a risk considering that you are not guaranteed a training contract at the end of it.” Jemma is studying for the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma and is working at Sills & Betteridge in the claims department which will fulfil her qualifying employment requirements. She adds: “I already run my own files which I really enjoy and I see a lot of our new clients in the Lincoln office. I deal with claims under £25,000. I currently have about 50 files but this is expanding. I would recommend and have recommended CILEx. I think it is a really good way to further a legal career without having to do an LPC and training contract.”

Education: degree in Criminology (not a qualifying law degree)
Currently studying: CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
Role: conveyancing assistant

Truan Hannings started working as an archivist in the conveyancing department and quickly took on further responsibilities and discovered that law was an area which he would like to develop a career in. His degree in Criminology would not count as a law degree for the purposes of training to be a solicitor and he says: “After graduating from university I decided not to pursue my original plan of going into the police force. Once I discovered that there was another option rather than a conversion course, LPC and then fighting for a training contract then it meant that a career in law was a possibility.” Truan is now studying for the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and hopes to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive in due course. He adds: “I am now working as a conveyancing sssistant and I take on the full conveyancing process. I am reporting and interpreting titles to properties and have recently started working on leasehold and shared ownership properties to further my abilities. I handle the main share of the completions in the department and I am beginning to see clients to sign contracts before completion.”

Education: AS Levels
Studying: CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
Role: paralegal in family department

Ellie Jones joined Sills & Betteridge as an office assistant aged 17, and enrolled on the CILEx programme aged 20. Ellie says: “When I decided to leave school, I was lucky enough to get a job at Sills & Betteridge and was made aware of the CILEx route as an option to progress my career in law. I was always encouraged to enrol and decided to do so when I was working in the family department which I really enjoyed and which I had a passion for.” Ellie has now completed the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice and is on her way to achieving the full CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice. Her current job role is a paralegal in the family department where she deals mainly with divorce, financial disputes and private law children matters. She says: “I work closely with a partner in the department and undertake a number of different tasks including dealing and liaising with clients and other parties, attending at Court and assisting a barrister, preparing court documents and generally helping with the management and running of files.”

She adds: “It is my intention to continue studying with CILEx and become a Chartered Legal Executive. I feel that the CILEx route is great for people who want to work and study at the same time. It has had a huge impact on my life chances as without this route I would have found it so much more difficult to progress my career any further and I may never have had the opportunity to reach my full potential. I would definitely recommend it to others as I feel it is a much better route than the traditional way of obtaining a degree etc.”

Previous education: A levels
Studying: CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Family Practice)
Role: Secretary in family department

Daisy joined Sills & Betteridge as an office assistant in the post room, shortly after completing her A Levels, in which she achieved three A grades. She says: “I heard about the CILEx route whilst at Sills and Betteridge, when a lady from CILEx Law School came in to talk to people already involved in CILEx about their progress. I was asked if I wanted to meet with her to discuss CILEx as an alternative to university, and enrolled with CILEx shortly afterwards.” Daisy moved from the post room to become a secretary in the family department and enrolled on courses for the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Family Practice).

Daisy adds: “My current job role is as a mediation secretary, in which I assist the mediators prepare for their meetings with clients by preparing their files, making appointments with clients, and other legal secretarial tasks. Once I pass the Certificate I will be a qualified family law paralegal. I do intend to study for the full professional qualification to become a Chartered Legal Executive. I would recommend CILEx Law School to prospective students as it allows you to gain work experience and earn alongside studying, which is great for your CV. It has also allowed me a better understanding of the legal system and where I would like to go from here.”

Previous education: A levels and CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
Currently studying: CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice
Role: Senior fee earner in probate department

Gareth Day left school with A levels and gained a job as an office assistant with the promise of support through the CILEx training route following work experience at a law firm. He is now a senior fee earner in the probate department at Sills & Betteridge working on wills, probate, Court of Protection, Lasting Power of Attorneys, Trusts and IHT with management and business development responsibilities. He has almost completed his CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice and his day-to-day work is fulfilling his qualifying employment requirements, so he is well on his way to becoming as a Chartered Legal Executive his year’s post-academic qualifying employment. He says: “I would certainly recommend the Chartered Legal Executive training route to others and consider it to have been a great way for me to pursue a career in law without first having to obtain a degree and study the LPC. It is a great alternative route and allows you to secure employment before committing to further education.”

Previous education: law degree and LPC
No more studies required – fulfilling CILEx qualifying employment
Role: paralegal in the crime department

Calum Hanrahan, a law graduate who had also studied for the LPC, was able to join CILEx as a Graduate Member and qualify as a Fellow of CILEx (a Chartered Legal Executive) on completion of his qualifying employment. He says: “Qualifying as a lawyer through the CILEx route was not an option that I gave much thought to previously. I worked on a whole range of matters within the firm which gave me the learning outcomes to satisfy the qualifying employment requirements to become a Chartered Legal Executive. Having achieved this, I was then able to apply to the SRA to become a solicitor.”