What is a Chartered Legal Executive?

A Chartered Legal Executive is a lawyer who has qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) by following the specified training requirements. Chartered Legal Executives are eligible to become partners in law firms and to share in the firm’s profits. If you are looking for a way into the law, then this is an ideal route to choose.

What is the role?

Being a Chartered Legal Executive is a fulfilling and rewarding career. Once qualified, there are great opportunities available – you could become a partner in a law firm, an independent practitioner running your own legal business, an advocate or even a judge.

Opportunities also exist for senior roles in the legal departments of commercial organisations, charities, government agencies and local authorities. Advertised posts can be found on the CILEx Careers website where job descriptions will give you a flavour of the role of a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer.

How does it differ from being a solicitor?

The main difference between a Chartered Legal Executive and a solicitor is that the training to become a Chartered Legal Executive is narrower than the training route to become a solicitor. This means that Chartered Legal Executives study to the same level as solicitors, but they study fewer subjects overall.

Chartered Legal Executives, whilst studying a broad range of law subjects, study one legal practice subject at an advanced level, having selected which area they wish to specialise in. The specialist nature of the Chartered Legal Executive training route does not cause problems in the working environment, since all lawyers, be they solicitors, barristers or Chartered Legal Executives, tend to specialise in only one area of legal practice once they have qualified.

Chartered Legal Executives are also eligible to be appointed as judges.

How does it differ from being a paralegal?

A Chartered Legal Executive is a qualified lawyer, regulated by a professional body, and with rights to partnerships in law firms and to judicial appointment. The term ‘paralegal’ refers to a wide range of personnel working in the legal environment, from a legal secretary who has undertaken some training in aspects of legal practice, through to law graduates who have not completed a training route to become a qualified lawyer.

Who is the typical CILEx student?

The CILEx qualification is extremely flexible. Success in individual units leads to achievement of qualifications, and there are no time specified periods during which all units or qualifications need to be gained. This flexibility means that the CILEx qualification is suitable for those seeking a fulfilling career at many different stages of life. Our students range from school leavers choosing the CILEx route instead of a law degree, often through a legal apprenticeship, to mature career changers or those seeking more fulfilment in their working lives.