Job descriptions and industry overviews

Legal executive: job description

21 Jun 2023, 15:39

Chartered legal executives are qualified lawyers who do similar work to solicitors.

Legal executive job description

Jump to: What does a chartered legal executive do? | Salaries | Typical employers | Find vacancies | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Chartered legal executives are lawyers who tend to specialise in a particular area of law, such as family or criminal law, personal injury work or conveyancing. Their work is similar to that of solicitors .

Typical duties include:

  • meeting clients and understanding their needs.
  • drafting and reviewing documents, such as wills, property conveyancing forms and divorce settlements.
  • negotiating with other parties in legal cases.
  • liaising with other professionals involved in cases, including other lawyers, expert witnesses and local authorities.
  • researching and preparing cases.
  • attending court and tribunals.

As with the work of other lawyers, working hours for chartered legal executives can be long, especially when cases are complex or deadlines are approaching. Unlike solicitors, chartered legal executive can only represent clients in court in certain situations.

Some legal chartered executives call upon their experience to go on to qualify as a solicitor , but there are other career paths open to legal executives. With experience, chartered legal executives could become eligible for a judicial post or become a partner or manager in a legal practice.

Salaries for legal executives

Legal executives work while studying for their qualifications with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). According to CILEx, legal executives earn somewhere between £15,000 and £28,000 while training and then up to £38,000 when they have passed their examinations. Upon obtaining three years’ post-qualifying experience, they could earn up to £55,000, depending on the role and employer.

Typical employers of legal executives

  • Private practice solicitors' firms.
  • Local authorities.
  • The Government Legal Department.
  • Commercial organisations requiring in-house legal expertise.

Where to find chartered legal executive jobs

You may find some legal executive jobs on targetjobs , although the majority of vacancies are for trainee solicitors. Elsewhere, jobs can be typically through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives' (CILEx), the Law Society and general jobs boards. Specialist recruitment agencies sometimes advertise positions, but these tend to be for qualified staff.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into becoming a legal executive for both graduates and school leavers. Both involve studying while working.

Law graduates (or non-law graduates who have completed a law conversion course) can work towards the CILEx CPQ advanced qualification, which leads to advanced paralegal status. This can then be followed by the CPQ professional qualification. On completion, you’ll be a qualified CILEx lawyer.

Non-law graduates, who haven’t completed a law conversion course, will need to study the CILEx foundation course first to gain a grounding in law.

To find out more about CILEx qualifications, including apprenticeships for school leavers, visit the CILEx website .

As a chartered legal executive, you can continue studying to become a solicitor by undertaking the solicitors qualifying examinations (SQE) . Although the chartered legal executive qualification by itself doesn’t exempt you from elements of the SQE, your experience as a lawyer counts towards the SQE’s period of qualifying work experience and you may be able to apply for an individual exemption based on your experience.

Key skills for chartered legal executives

  • Relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Sensitivity and tact towards clients’ situations.
  • Personal organisational skills.
  • Commercial awareness.
  • A keen eye for detail.
  • Investigative skills.
  • Negotiating skills.
  • The ability to work under pressure.

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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