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Published on September 23, 2020 by Holly Porter

If you want to become a CILEx fellow – that is a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer, there are certain conditions, like carrying outCILEx qualifying employment, you must fulfil. How to achieve the academic stage is quite easily understood in that you need to pass “10 units of the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and 6 units of the CILEx Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice” (See How to Qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer). However, it is the remaining requirement to have been in qualifying employment for at least three years and met the work-based outcomes that require a bit more explanation.

What Does CILEx Qualifying Employment Mean?

Employment is defined specifically by CILEx in the Fellowship Work-Based Learning Handbook as:

  • Being employed under a contract of service and engaged on your employer’s business for specified hours
  • Being a partner in any firm or are an owner of any company

Qualifying employment is defined as that which is “wholly of a legal nature.” In more detail, this is work which may include applying the law in practice or carrying out legal proceedings. Examples given in the handbook include:

  • Taking instructions from clients
  • Corresponding to a legal matter
  • Drafting legal documents

Also, if you have attended 43 weeks on either the LPC or BPTC and passed, this will also count towards your qualifying employment.

CILEx goes on to specify that your qualifying employment must be at least 20 hours per week and supervised by an authorised person. An authorised person includes CILEx fellows, CILEx practitioners and solicitors and barristers under the Legal Services Act 2007, s18.

You can make an application to have your qualifying employment assessed to ascertain if it qualifies, how much of it you have and when you would be eligible to qualify for fellowship.

For further details on all these aspects of qualifying employment and to find out how to apply for assessment, read the handbook here.

How Long Do I Need to Carry Out Qualifying Employment?

In order to qualify as a fellow, you must carry out at least three years of qualifying employment. One year of your employment must be carried out as a graduate member of CILEx and the two years prior to application for fellowship must be continuous.

Any employment breaks must be considered when calculating the three years and in general do not count as qualifying employment. However, if you took a break that was 12 months or less during the period before applying to be a fellow, this will not break the consecutive period of two years required. For example, if in the period before application you worked for a year in qualifying employment, took a three-month break and then came back to do another year in qualifying employment – your two continuous years of qualifying employment would be intact despite the short break.

What Are Work-Based Outcomes?

 In your application for fellowship, it is not enough merely to be in qualified employment on the surface, you must provide evidence that your employment qualifies. CILEx highlights that you must submit a portfolio of work to prove that your work meets eight key competencies which are further broken down into 27 learning outcomes.

The key competencies required for CILEx qualifying employment are as follows:

  1. Practical Application of the Law and Legal Practice
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Client Reactions
  4. Management of Workload
  5. Business Awareness
  6. Professional Conduct
  7. Self Awareness and Development
  8. Working with Others

For further details on these and the specific outcomes you will need to meet, see the link to the handbook above.

Words by: Alicia Gibson

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