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Legal executive

Legal executives specialise in one area of law and carry out similar tasks to solicitors.

Annual Salary

£17,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

You could work: 9am to 5pm;

Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Legal executive jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties will depend on your specialism. You could:

  • advise clients and explain legal matters
  • contact mortgage lenders, planning officers or other professionals on behalf of clients
  • research and summarise legal information
  • prepare legal documents
  • write to clients
  • draw up wills
  • prepare contracts
  • represent clients in court
  • prepare bills for clients

Working environment

You could work at a police station, in a court or in an office.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could do a law degree, or a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) if your degree is not in law. You would then do:

  • the Graduate Fast-Track Diploma
  • 3 years' qualifying employment

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could take the following college courses to qualify:

  • CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice

After completing a college qualification, you would do a 3-year period of qualifying employment. This means you'll carry out legal work under the supervision of a solicitor, senior chartered legal executive, barrister or licensed conveyancer.

You could do this in a legal practice, a legal department of a private company or in a government department.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information

You could take start by taking a Paralegal Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

You could then move on to a:

  • Chartered Legal Executive Level 6 Non-Degree Apprenticeship
  • Chartered Legal Executive Litigator and Advocate Level 7 Non-Degree Apprenticeship

As part of an apprenticeship you will study to gain the following professional qualifications:

  • CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

A lot of people work for a law firm and study for qualifications part time.

You could study for CILEx qualifications even if you're not working in a legal environment, as long as you meet their entry requirements. Qualifications may be studied full-time, part-time or by distance learning.

You'll still need some work experience to give you a chance of finding a job once you're qualified.

More information

Further information

You can get more details about a legal executive career from:the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives; LawCAB

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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