Job roles in other organisations – working for a big company in its legal department

This article is part of our Job roles in law series which explores some of the legal sector’s practice areas and the associated job roles which may offer a starting point for someone looking to start a career in law.


The work is very varied according to the nature of the organisation and so there is no typical role. For example a retailer with shops around the country will deal with a lot of property work, a broadcaster commissioning programmes will have contract specialists. Both organisations will have a large number of employees, so they also need employment specialists.

What jobs are there for non-qualified staff?

In-house legal teams have roles within the specialist legal areas in the same way that law firms do, so the role and job title will be the same as described in the sections on property, contract and employment.

What job titles will be advertised by recruitment agencies?

In-house paralegal, in-house conveyancing paralegal, in-house contracts executive, in-house employment paralegal, in-house legal assistant. Applying for legal secretarial jobs is also a good route into this area of law.

What CILEx units will support my application for these job roles?

Anyone new to legal studies is advised to start with the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice. We recommend that you select either Civil Litigation with Contract or Employment Practice. Each Certificate includes an  introductory unit, a law unit and its related practice unit (eg Contract and Civil Litigation, Employment Law and the Practice of Employment Law) and two professional skills units.

If you already have a law degree, you can achieve your CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma by studying two Level 6 practice units of your choice as well as Level 6 Client Care Skills. Under CILEx rules, at least one unit must relate to a law unit studied as part of your degree, but we recommend that both do, or that you also study the accompanying law unit at Level 3 or Level 6.

What have other students achieved?

Simon Rowe left school with no A levels and now works in the legal department of a commercial company which develops flagship shopping destinations.

Catherine Miles works as an employment law specialist within the legal team for The Body Shop International plc.

Ella Lycett is a legal apprentice in the contracts department of the BBC.

Charlotte Burnham is working as a manager within the commercial contracts department of a construction and refrigeration company.

Working in an in-house legal department – Catherine Miles

I first properly got into law as a legal secretary in 2005 at Thomas Eggar LLP. The first manager I worked for was a trainee Chartered Legal Executive and there was also a Senior Chartered Legal Executive in our team. Talking to them and observing their work gave me an insight into the work that Chartered Legal Executives do and made me realise that it is not just a choice between being either a solicitor or support staff if you want to work in law.

March 11th, 2019|
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