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Legal Executive

Legal executives are legally qualified professionals, but the training and qualifications are different to conventional solicitors, although in many respects their jobs can be very much similar. Qualified legal executives provide support to solicitors and do fee earning work that is charged to clients making a direct contribution to the income of a law firm. Legal executives earn generally less than Solicitors do, but we know experienced executives working at leading City law firm's earning in excess of £45,000.

Legal Executives can work in private practice, local government or in-house positions, and normally specialise in Conveyancing (Property sales and purchases), Civil litigation (such as Personal Injury; Debt recovery; Housing; Employment) and Criminal litigation, Family law and Private client (such as wills and probate).

One benefit of choosing the ILEX qualification is that you can earn while learning. Students have to pass the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) examinations in order to qualify as a legal executive. The qualification is recognised throughout England & Wales, and law graduates are exempt from the academic parts of the ILEX professional training and qualification. In addition, aspiring legal executives will need to complete a qualifying employment period of a minimum of five years in order to qualify.  Also see ILEX's website for further details on this route into the legal profession www.ilex.org.uk

Legal Executive lawyers have the option to become solicitors in one or two years after becoming Fellows (successfully qualifying as a legal executive) and are usually exempt from the training contract graduates must complete to qualify as solicitors. However, new emerging rights means that the role and standing of Legal Executive lawyers and solicitors is moving ever closer.

For more information on Legal Executives - click on our Hays Legal guide