In our Ask a Recruiter feature, a member of our specialist team will tackle a topic relating to attraction, recruitment and retention.
This month, Principal Consultant Joseph Shenton gives his advice to a Head of Department who’d like to support an employee interested in qualifying via CILEX.
“One of the paralegals within my team has approached me about undertaking the CILEX qualification (and then eventually becoming a solicitor). I’d like to support her as she works towards qualifying but I qualified via the training contract route, so know very little about CILEX.
What value can a CILEX-qualified lawyer bring to the firm (compared to a solicitor) and how can I best support the paralegal within my team?”
While there’s still some stigma attached to being a legal executive, Chartered Legal Executives (or those who eventually cross-qualify as Solicitors) ultimately have the same level of experience and sometimes even more experience than those who undertake the traditional training contract.
A CILEX-qualified lawyer can bring several valuable advantages to a firm compared to a solicitor.
Firstly, CILEX training tends to be undertaken within a single practice area. This means that they gain more in-depth hands-on experience within that practice area. When they qualify, they will have a deeper knowledge than an NQ solicitor who may have only spent six months working within the legal niche they eventually specialise in.
Lawyers who qualify via CILEX also receive comprehensive training that covers both legal theory and practical skills. They can handle a wide range of legal matters and add value across a firm. They also have direct client contact during their training, which can enhance client relationships and improve overall client satisfaction.
Supporting your employees to qualify and progress their careers via CILEX will show that you’re inclusive as an employer and will open you up to a wider pool of potential candidates. Compared to offering a training contract, from an employer’s point of view, the process of offering CILEX is not as strenuous as your firm doesn’t need to be an approved training provider.
This is one of the topics that was discussed in our recent interview with Amber Oakley, Family Solicitor at Evolve Family Law who qualified via CILEX. You can watch the interview to learn more about her experience.