What is CILEX?

By Lorna Baldry

This is an often-asked question, actually the question should not be only what is CILEX but also, who are CILEX?

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) has been offering a route to qualification as a lawyer for over 50 years. CILEX is the membership body for lawyers who trained or are still. Training via the qualifications for which CILEX are an Awarding Organisation. Some grades of membership are also available to lawyers who qualified in other ways.

CILEX Professional Qualifications are based on a competency framework, designed with employers, so it is a practical qualification which provides good preparation for and alignment to practising law.

The qualification is in three stages, Foundation, Advanced and Professional. Each stage includes professional experience gained from time in employment, study of law and practice and professionalism and ethics.

Completing the Foundation stage leads to qualification as a CILEX Paralegal. Completing both the Foundation and Advanced stages leads to qualification as an Advanced paralegal. Those who complete all three stages will be CILEX Lawyers. Learners following the pathways for dispute resolution, criminal practice and family litigation will also be required to complete an advocacy course.

CILEX Lawyers are specialists in one area of law. They can be fee earners, partners, run their own businesses and apply to the Judiciary.

Before studying learners will become members of CILEX and register with them for the qualifications they would like to earn before selecting and enrolling with an accredited learning centre. Throughout the foundation and advanced stages of their qualifications learners will log professional experience with CILEX and at the professional stage they will apply for and evidence their qualifying work experience to CILEX Regulation. CILEX Regulation will issue them a practising certificate when they are fully qualified and CILEX may continue to be their professional membership body throughout their career, unless they should choose to cross qualify as a different kind of legal professional or cease work in the legal sector altogether.

In addition to their work relating to learning and achieving a legal career, CILEX play an important part in campaigning and lobbying for improvements to the law and legal services. They represent their members whether the forum be political, financial, professional or social. CILEX play a role in increasing awareness of CILEX Lawyers and raising their profile.


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