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Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

CILEX announces new route to qualification

CILEX announces new route to qualification


CILEX has today announced the launch of new route to qualification as a paralegal or lawyer

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) has today announced the launch of new route to qualification as a paralegal or lawyer. 

The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) will, it said, be a more affordable alternative to the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) – but without compromising on standards.

The CPQ is comprised of three levels – CILEX Paralegal (foundation level); CILEX Advanced Paralegal (for those handling cases at advanced paralegal level) and CILEX Lawyer for those wishing to qualify as a legal professional.

The course will combine academic study with practical experience and students will be able to progress through each of these stages, at their own pace.

A degree or equivalent qualification is not pre-requisite, but those with undergraduate or postgraduate legal qualifications will not be required to start at foundation stage. 

CILEX chief executive, Linda Ford, commented: “CPQ recognises that a successful career in the law requires more than just legal knowledge.

“By blending academic studies with practice-based experience throughout the qualification and the addition of a wider set of business and personal effectiveness competencies, the next generation of CILEX lawyers will have the skills needed to adapt, innovate and enhance how legal services are delivered to meet evolving consumer needs.” 

CILEX anticipates students will spend between 18 months and two years completing each stage, with qualification as a lawyer taking five to six years.

They will not have to complete all stages if they do not wish to qualify as a lawyer. 

The cost of qualification as a lawyer through the CPQ will be a maximum of £12,500, significantly lower than the current cost of completing a London-based law conversion course and Legal Practice Course (LPC), which is just under £30,000. 

The University of Law (ULaw) announced earlier this week that its new LLM LPC, designed to prepare students for the SQE, will cost between £12,900 and £17,500 – in addition to the £3,980 cost of the SQE exams, which is more expensive than the current cost of equivalent the LPC. 

In a statement released today in response to ULaw’s announcement, the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) expressed concern regarding the threat that prohibitive course fees pose to social mobility and diversity. 

However, CILEX said the CPQ seeks to build on its core proposition of accessibility, affordability and flexibility to recognise the potential of students unable to attend university. 

Subject to final regulatory approval, CPQ will open for enrolments from June 2021, through CILEX Law School or other approved providers.