Qualifying with CILEX
Find out more about CILEX which offers aspiring legal professionals flexible entry points into the legal profession depending on your qualifications and the career route you want to follow
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) is the professional and governing body for Chartered Legal Executives (including CILEX Lawyers and CILEX Paralegals). As an approved regulator, it is one of the three main professional bodies covering the legal profession in England and Wales with an approximately 20,000-strong membership made up of CILEX Lawyers, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals and other legal professionals.
CILEX offers a non-university route into law through the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ), which is a training programme for those wishing to qualify as a CILEX Paralegal, a CILEX Advanced Paralegal or a CILEX Lawyer. CILEX Lawyers can become partners in law firms, coroners, judges or advocates in open court. Indeed, today there are more than 1,000 partners in law firms up and down the UK who took the CILEX route!
The CPQ entails on-the-job training alongside study, providing essential legal knowledge with the practical skills, behaviours and commercial awareness needed by lawyers in today's legal landscape.
Scroll down for further information about CILEX Paralegals, CILEX Advanced Paralegals or CILEX Lawyers.
What is a CILEX Paralegal?
CILEX has introduced a new type of paralegal which bases the qualification on specified, uniform standards. As a CILEX Paralegal, you will be a member of a chartered professional and awarding body, responsible for setting professional standards.
How is this different? The role of the paralegal has always had a fairly vague definition. Those working as paralegals do so under the guise of a variety of job titles, usually within a legal environment, undertaking legal work. There are no standard qualifications or uniform practices that ‘qualify’ a paralegal; the qualification is based on the type of work being undertaken and experience gained.
As a CILEX Paralegal, your training will have been rooted in a ‘competency-based qualification framework’, which comprise the core principles, behaviours and activities expected of a CILEX legal professional; on qualifying, you will have demonstrated a prescribed level of professional competence and high ethical standards and, on an ongoing basis, you will need to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.
The training you will undertake to become a CILEX Paralegal will involve learning about the law, as well as key business and inter-personal skills, personal effectiveness and legal technology. Your work experience will cover key professional competencies and will be validated by your employer throughout your training so that you are able to provide evidence to show that you are able to perform at the required level.
CILEX Advanced Paralegal
You could also choose to become a CILEX Advanced Paralegal, which will build on the legal training and work experience already undertaken as a CILEX Paralegal, as well as acquiring specialist knowledge in a specific area of law. On gaining CILEX Advanced Paralegal status, you will be able to demonstrate competence and legal knowledge to a high specialist level, enabling you to work as a specialist case handler in any of the core and optional areas of law you have studied.
What is a CILEX Lawyer?
As a CILEX Lawyer, you will be qualified with practice rights in one (or more) specialist area of law. This differs from solicitors and barristers who initially train and qualify to practice in all areas of law, before they go on to specialise in particular areas of law after they have qualified.
The areas of law where you could choose to qualify to practice in as a CILEX Lawyer are:
Business & Commercial Law
Wills & Probate
As a CILEX Lawyer, the path is open for you to become, among other things, a partner in a law firm, a judge, an advocate in open court, or a coroner.
How do I qualify?
Use the link below to read about qualifying through the CPQ