Jul 24, 2014— read in full
Can you be a lawyer without a degree?
In fact, the only qualifications you need to get started as a Legal Executive are at least four good GCSEs including English Language or Literature, or an equivalent.
What is a Legal Executive?
Legal Executives are lawyers who take on a wide range of legal work similar to that of a barrister. They can specialise in areas like family law, employment law, litigation, conveyancing and much more - so although there are restrictions on the kind of work a Legal Executive can do, they are real lawyers practicing real law. They can even appear in court, although extra qualifications are required to appear in the higher courts.
Legal Executives who are not yet qualified usually work for a law firm while studying.
It's also possible for a Legal Executive to go on to become a solicitor.
How much do Legal Executives earn?
Legal Executives can expect to earn £15,000 - £28,000 during training. After qualification, this rises to £35,000 - £55,000, or even higher in some firms or if you become a partner.
How do I become a Legal Executive?
Becoming a Legal Executive involves:
- becoming a member of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX). Membership fees are £50 per year, but most trainees have this paid by their employer.
- Studying the ILEX Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice (equivalent to A-level) and then the ILEX Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice (equivalent to a degree). This takes four years part-time or two years full-time. The total fees come to around £7,000 overall, although if you are also working for a firm while studying they may cover some of the cost.
- working in qualifying employment. You will need five years' work experience to become a full Legal Executive, two of which will be after you complete your studies.