Legal Executive CV Writing Tip's
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Legal Executive CV Writing Service
Legal Executive CV Writing Service
Legal executives specialise in one area of law. They have trained to the same level as solicitors in that area and do much of the same work.
This job will suit you if you have good spoken and written communication skills, as you’ll need to explain complex legal matters clearly to people. You’ll need patience and discretion. You also need to be able to work under pressure.
To become qualified in this area you will have to work towards Fellowship of the Institute of Legal Executives. You will also need to have practical experience in a legal environment.
As a legal executive lawyer, you could deal with any of the following branches of law:
- conveyancing – the legal side of buying and selling property
- probate – wills, trusts and inheritance tax
- family law – divorce and children’s matters
- civil litigation – disputes between people
- criminal law – defence or prosecution of people accused of crimes
- company and business law – tax, contracts and employment law.
Depending on your specialism, your work might include:
- advising clients and explaining legal matters to them
- contacting professionals such as mortgage lenders, planning officers or other lawyers on behalf of clients
- researching and summarising legal information
- preparing legal documents
- writing to clients
- drawing up wills
- preparing contracts
- representing clients in county and magistrates’ courts
- preparing bills for clients.
In many full-time jobs you would work standard office hours Monday to Friday. Flexible hours and part-time work are often possible.
You would be based at an office, but you may also spend some of your time at courts and police stations.
Salaries for trainee legal executives can start at between £16,000 and £20,000 a year.
Salaries for qualified legal executives can be £30,000 to £45,000 a year.
Some highly experienced legal executives in large firms can earn over £50,000 a year.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
To become a qualified legal executive lawyer, you must work towards Fellowship of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX). For this, you would take a series of professional ILEX exams, and gain practical experience/qualifying employment in a legal environment.
Most trainee legal executives work in a law firm and study part-time. You could start as a clerical assistant or legal secretary, possibly through temporary work or an Apprenticeship scheme. Another option is to study for the first set of ILEX exams at college (full-time or part-time) before looking for work at a law firm.
To do ILEX courses, you would normally need to have at least four GCSEs (A-C) including English, or equivalent qualifications. Many trainee legal executives have more than the minimum, such as A levels or degrees.
If you have gained a qualifying law degree in the past seven years, you will be exempt from some of the first stage of ILEX exams.
Training and development
To qualify as a legal executive lawyer, you must register with the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) as a student member and complete the following ILEX qualifications:
- Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice – equivalent to A level standard
- Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice – equivalent to degree level.
You can study through day-release, evening classes or distance learning.
On average it takes four years of part-time study to pass both levels of exam, which gives you Membership of ILEX. However, if you have a recognised law degree or postgraduate law qualification, you could qualify in around nine months through the ILEX Graduate ‘Fast-track’ Diploma.
See the ILEX website for full details of legal executive lawyer qualifications.
To be fully qualified and able to use the title of legal executive, you must become a Fellow of ILEX. For this, you must have at least five years’ qualifying legal employment, which must include at least two years after passing the exams.
ILEX also provides a continuing professional development (CPD) scheme to help you keep your knowledge up to date throughout your career.
Skills and knowledge
To become a legal executive, you will need to have:
- excellent spoken and written communication skills
- the ability to explain legal matters clearly
- patience, tact and discretion
- good administrative and computer skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- research skills
- an organised approach
- the ability to work under pressure.
As well as working for firms of solicitors, you could work for the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, local authorities or in business. Jobs may be advertised in the local press, in magazines for the legal profession, and by specialist recruitment agencies.
With experience, you could take on more complex cases and build up a large client base. You could also progress to leading a team of legal executives and secretaries, or become a practice manager in a law firm. With further study, you could qualify as a solicitor.
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