A Chartered Legal Executive is known as a specialist lawyer because although they are authorised lawyers, their training and practice are in a particular area.
Chartered Legal Executives will conduct similar work to solicitors and can have their own clients and represent them in court, where appropriate, but their work focus will be much narrower.
A Level 6 Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship is designed for LLB / GDL graduates to undertake whilst working in legal practice and funded by either the employer or by the government through the apprenticeship levy.
Training and qualification for a Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship are governed by CILEx. Once apprentices have successfully completed the apprenticeship, they will qualify as a fellow of CILEx, the highest level of CILEx membership.
All apprenticeships start with an application for an apprenticeship vacancy within an organisation, be that a law firm or private or public organisation. Firms will publish information regarding their own apprenticeship programs and when you should apply; you can use our legal apprenticeship deadline database to check for open opportunities.
A Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship is geared towards those who have already studied law and have some experience in the field. It’s not recommended that students embark on a Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship straight after leaving school.
With that in mind, apprentices need to have either completed a law degree, a conversion course or a level three professional diploma in law and practice.
While academic requirements vary across employers, candidates are required to have achieved at least four GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (including English Literature and English Language).
Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeships are perfect for those still weighing their options and deciding how they would like to proceed with their legal career, or for those seeking a career change later on in life.
Watch our Q&A with a legal apprentice for advice on how to apply, information about the benefits and more!
Apprentices study for either the two-year level six professional diploma in law and practice (if they have completed the level three professional diploma) or nine-15-month Graduate Fast-track Diploma (if they have studied a law degree or GDL). They are then known as Graduate Members of CILEx.
As well as their academic studies, to qualify as a chartered legal executive apprentices are also required to complete practical work experience for three years. You can gain this either in a firm or in-house under the supervision of senior Chartered Legal Executives, solicitors or barristers.
This stage involves various tasks and responsibilities such as drafting and reviewing legal documents, researching cases, attending meetings and advising clients.
It is important to note that apprentices can complete two years of their work experience before, alongside or after their studies, as long as these are consecutive. However, the final year must be completed after achieving their academic qualifications.
The level six professional diploma involves six subjects, including legal practice and professional skills units. The Graduate Fast-track Diploma only consists of two units, one of which is related modules studied during your law degree, and one client care skills unit.
Each of these includes several coursework tasks and three-hour unseen examinations for each unit. Apprentices are also required to maintain a portfolio demonstrating their skills and tasks in line with CILEx’s learning outcomes and objectives.
They are also assigned a case study project to complete to reflect their ability to work on legal cases from start to finish.
Salaries for Chartered Legal Executives vary across firms and depend on the level of experience you have. It can also depend on factors such as location; with lawyers based in London, for example, earning more due to higher living costs.
As a CILEx student, you can expect to earn between £15,000 and £28,000. This can rise up to £38,000 upon qualification and £55,000 after three years of work experience. Senior Chartered Legal Executives with extensive experience can easily earn in excess of this figure.
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