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Anyone qualified/qualifying as a solicitor through CILEX?

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    As per the question. Would be interested to hear people's opinions and views on this.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    As per the question. Would be interested to hear people's opinions and views on this.
    If I am not mistaken you cannot qualify as a solicitor through Cilex. You become a legal executive but don't quote me on that.
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    (Original post by sydneyfox)
    If I am not mistaken you cannot qualify as a solicitor through Cilex. You become a legal executive but don't quote me on that.
    You can, so long as you have the LPC and PSC then what you've done through CILEX will allow you to convert by equivalent means.

    It's a long way round though, I'd only recommend it if you've got a ton of experience on the bloz and are hitting a brick wall with TCs.
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    I'm thinking of doing it (currently qualifying as a legal exec, but I need to clarify with the SRA whether I can do convert my qualification because the SRA website isn't clear, although I queried this point in 2014 and was given the same info as Iron Bowl).

    I've done 13 exams, I have 3 to go and have to put together a portfolio for my qualifying employment. Qualifying as a solicitor would be better for my career but I'm not sure if I have it in me to continue doing exams after I finish my next three.
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    I'm looking through this route! It's perfect because it allows me to sit my LLM postgrad while I work...

    (and study the GCILEX units the same time!)
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    (Original post by Lord Jon)
    I'm looking through this route! It's perfect because it allows me to sit my LLM postgrad while I work...

    (and study the GCILEX units the same time!)
    I would have thought a system which requires portfolio and exams would make it harder to do an extra qualification than a system which doesn't?
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    (Original post by Lord Jon)
    I'm looking through this route! It's perfect because it allows me to sit my LLM postgrad while I work...

    (and study the GCILEX units the same time!)
    What's the plan afterwards?
    I am just still not sure what CILEX allows you to do?
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    Yes you can indeed.

    For me personally I studied a law degree, the LPC, joined CILEx as a graduate member, 3 years qualifying employment and portfolio, qualified as a Chartered Legal
    executive, completed the PSC and applied to the SRA for admission as a Solicitor - easy peasy
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    (Original post by notsit)
    I'm thinking of doing it (currently qualifying as a legal exec, but I need to clarify with the SRA whether I can do convert my qualification because the SRA website isn't clear, although I queried this point in 2014 and was given the same info as Iron Bowl).

    I've done 13 exams, I have 3 to go and have to put together a portfolio for my qualifying employment. Qualifying as a solicitor would be better for my career but I'm not sure if I have it in me to continue doing exams after I finish my next three.
    How did you go about finding an initial legal role?

    I know of some people who have gone down this route and their employer paid for their LPC as they were already long-time valuable members of staff.
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    How did you go about finding an initial legal role?

    I know of some people who have gone down this route and their employer paid for their LPC as they were already long-time valuable members of staff.
    Honestly, I was lucky. I emailed local firms for work experience and one of them agreed to let me do 2 weeks. Then their paralegal fell ill, so they employed me temporarily till he came back. This was mainly printing and bundling. I used this experience to get a 'proper' paralegal job at a firm which started funding the CILEx course.
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    Yes - good tactic if TC impossible. CILEX rights (partnership etc) have improved vastly since my day so not sure if I would do LPC now - depends on which area you wish to work. Half on my LPC never secured a TC and fell back to CILEX. Does require a strong will - working and studying a tough option. I started straight from school - 4 years to qualify as CILEX - I didn't hang around. That said the one big problem with CILEX route is the ability to experience many areas of law before you qualify. As soon as you are making profit firms will want to keep you within one department whereas TC allows more exploration.
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    (Original post by Heliborus)
    Yes - good tactic if TC impossible. CILEX rights (partnership etc) have improved vastly since my day so not sure if I would do LPC now - depends on which area you wish to work. Half on my LPC never secured a TC and fell back to CILEX. Does require a strong will - working and studying a tough option. I started straight from school - 4 years to qualify as CILEX - I didn't hang around. That said the one big problem with CILEX route is the ability to experience many areas of law before you qualify. As soon as you are making profit firms will want to keep you within one department whereas TC allows more exploration.
    I have qualified as a Legal Executive and have just finished my LPC and PSC so my application for admission is in now.

    I never went to university and similar to the above I went into a firm in Liverpool as a paralegal straight off the bat and started studying my CILEx exams at evening and weekend classes. I completed the exams in just under 2 years and then it was another 2 before I finally had the qualifying employment and portfolio of evidence to submit for fellowship.

    I'm now a legal executive at Clyde & Co and because of the CILEx route have a lot more experience and ability than the newly qualified solicitors coming through the traditional route. The legal landscape has changed quite dramatically over the past few years and I think a lot of firms now appreciate how much extra work and dedication it takes to study all your exams whilst you're working full time in a law firm!

    I've really gained invaluable experience from doing it this way and I'd really recommend it if you can face a bit more hard work! I got to a point when I finished my exams where I thought I didn't have the energy to go and do my LPC but in the end I managed to do it in 10 months whilst working as a full time legal executive. I had no life for a year but I got it over with as quick as possible before I could talk myself out of it and I'm glad I did!

    Best of luck!
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    (Original post by lauraalvie)
    Yes you can indeed.

    For me personally I studied a law degree, the LPC, joined CILEx as a graduate member, 3 years qualifying employment and portfolio, qualified as a Chartered Legal
    executive, completed the PSC and applied to the SRA for admission as a Solicitor - easy peasy
    Did you have to apply for a legal job prior to becoming a member with CILEX? How are you finding working life as a solicitor and what areas do you specialise in?

    Thank you :-)
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    You don't have to apply for a legal job before you apply to be a member of CILEx but I was in legal employment before I applied for membership but it is not a requirement.

    I'm finding life as a lawyer really good, the work is interesting and varied and my firm is lovely and very supportive. I work for large fashion retailers and international retailers doing commercial work - I am now specialised in commercial property work for retailers and absolutely love it. There's a good networking and social scene within this area.

    Thanks
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    Ok that sounds great! Thanks for the feedback.

    All the best. :-)
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    (Original post by zoella14)
    You don't have to apply for a legal job before you apply to be a member of CILEx but I was in legal employment before I applied for membership but it is not a requirement.

    I'm finding life as a lawyer really good, the work is interesting and varied and my firm is lovely and very supportive. I work for large fashion retailers and international retailers doing commercial work - I am now specialised in commercial property work for retailers and absolutely love it. There's a good networking and social scene within this area.

    Thanks
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    I have seriously considered going down the CILEX route if I fail to get a TC at my firm. Is the portfolio particularly hard to put together? I'm hoping the process will not be too much of a burden for my supervisor.

    Thanks for your help.
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    (Original post by kp0)
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    I have seriously considered going down the CILEX route if I fail to get a TC at my firm. Is the portfolio particularly hard to put together? I'm hoping the process will not be too much of a burden for my supervisor.

    Thanks for your help.
    I think it's definitely an option you should consider - particularly if you're happy staying at your current firm. And the good news is that the time you've already spent there will likely count towards your 3 years of employment depending on your duties.

    The portfolio is quite time consuming so I would start building it up bit by bit as soon as you can. CILEx have some great examples on their CILEx regulation website under qualifying employment to show you what's involved and how much detail you need. You need to be very thorough in your evidence cover sheet for each piece of evidence to specifically give details about the matter, what you did and how this piece of work meets their competency. I had to send pieces of mine back and forth to CILEx a couple of times when they raised extra queries about the examples I submitted.

    Overall it will be time consuming for you to get all the examples and fill in the evidence sheets for all of the competencies (this full list of competencies can be found on CILEx regulation website as well). The only time consuming bit is when your employer has to sign all your evidence sheets to show that the work attached to it is yours.

    It's a bit of a pain but a hell of a lot quicker to do that than to wait around for a TC when you could make the hard work you've already put in count towards becoming a lawyer.

    Wishing you luck!
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    Nearly doing the same. Waiting for FCilex at the moment and wondering about the PSC.

    Is it hard and is the exam problematic ?
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    (Original post by SuperPepe)
    Nearly doing the same. Waiting for FCilex at the moment and wondering about the PSC.

    Is it hard and is the exam problematic ?
    No the PSC is really straightforward - also I did the PSC recently with Kaplan and it's an open book exam. The exam is essentially copying from your book - nothing to worry about at all. The advocacy module is a bit more involved with 2 days focusing on the criminal trial and one for the civil trial but it can be really good fun. That's graded throughout the 3 days and they can only fail you if you don't attend all 3 days or refuse to participate in the role you are given. You'll be fine - it's the easiest part compared to everything else you've done.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by zoella14)
    You don't have to apply for a legal job before you apply to be a member of CILEx but I was in legal employment before I applied for membership but it is not a requirement.

    I'm finding life as a lawyer really good, the work is interesting and varied and my firm is lovely and very supportive. I work for large fashion retailers and international retailers doing commercial work - I am now specialised in commercial property work for retailers and absolutely love it. There's a good networking and social scene within this area.

    Thanks
    If you're a CILEx, you aren't a lawyer. Oftentimes knowledgeable in their field and well experienced, but use of the term 'lawyer' muddies the water between legal executives and Solicitors. It seems that CILEx is to Solicitor as Solicitor is to Barrister.

    Except, they do tend to have just as big chips on their shoulders as Solicitors. I've never met a CILEx who inspired me - indeed, many put me off a career in Law because of their poor attitude towards almost everyone that wasn't one of 'them'.

    A great shame because I expected better. Maybe we should return to the old phrase of "unqualified's" and "article clerks".
 
 
 
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Updated: April 23, 2017
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