Official Partners


What is a chartered legal executive, what do they do and how do you become one? Find the answers to all these questions and read about the role of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) on this page.

What Are Chartered Legal Executives?

Chartered legal executives are specialist qualified lawyers. They usually practice in law firms or in-house alongside and generally under the supervision of solicitors. They are likely to act directly for a variety of clients, including:

  • Individuals
  • Small businesses
  • Large national and international companies

Chartered Legal Executive or Solicitor?

Take our quiz to see which role suits you best!

Take the quiz

What Do Chartered Legal Executives Do?

Legal executives usually specialise in a particular area of law such as:

  • Civil Litigation (such as personal injury, debt recovery, housing, employment)
  • Criminal litigation (either defence or prosecution)
  • Family law
  • Conveyancing (such as buying and selling property)
  • Public law work (such as working in a Local Authority, in Government, welfare benefits or immigration)

On a daily basis, they may:

  • Provide specialist legal advice
  • Research complex legal issues
  • Draft and negotiate contracts, wills and other legal documents
  • Appear and speak on behalf of clients in court (having similar rights of audience to that of solicitors)
  • Attend meetings with clients
  • Interview and advise clients in the office, at clients’ homes and if practising crime at courts and in police stations.


Chartered legal executive salaries tend to start at around £15,000, rising to anywhere from £35,000 to £55,000 and above, depending on experience.


To become a chartered legal executive, you must have completed the following CILEX courses:

  • CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEx Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice

There is also a fast track level six course for law graduates.

Qualifying Employment

To be admitted as a chartered legal executive lawyer, you must have evidence of completing three years of qualifying employment in addition to your CILEx training. At least one year of the qualifying employment must be gained after having reached Graduate Member grade.

Work that is “wholly of a legal nature” is considered suitable qualifying employment. You must be employed for at least 20 hours per week and supervised by CILEx fellows, CILEx practitioners, solicitors, barristers or licensed conveyancers during this time.

For full details of the requirements, please visit the CILEx website.

Career Progression

Following qualification via CILEx, there are several options available. Legal executives can:

Become partners in law firms

  • Open their own law firm delivering reserved legal activities
  • Become a court advocate with extended rights of audience in civil, criminal and family proceedings
  • Become accredited through the Criminal Litigation Accreditated Scheme and apply to join a duty scheme
  • Take further exams and qualify as a solicitor
  • Apply for some judicial appointments, such as a district judge in the Magistrates Court

Case Studies

Training to become a chartered legal executive isn’t something that you necessarily have to do straight after finishing formal education. Many people embark on this career later on in life.

The video below details Richard’s route to qualification after leaving the RAF.

Below is another video in which Catherine talks about getting into law following her daughter’s birth.

Regulation and Representation

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives represents (CILEx) represents more than 20,000 chartered legal executives in training and practice. CILEx is also responsible for overseeing and regulating the profession. It provides ongoing education, training and skills development to its members.

Below is another success story fromFrantz, an immigration practitioner who gained his independent practice rights through CILEx Regulation.

Words: Siobhan Ali

Commercial Awareness Updates

Loading More Content