LAW – The Third Way
If you don’t have the resources or inclination to study and practise Law in the traditional way, then you should consider training to be a Legal Executive. Mark Bishop, President of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX), explains the options and benefits.
‘The wind of change is blowing through the legal profession,’ says Mark Bishop, President of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX), ‘and the barriers that have traditionally separated the various branches of the profession are beginning to crumble.
‘I believe it is far from inconceivable that in twenty years’ time the distinction between legal executive lawyers, solicitors, barristers, and other legal professionals will have broken down.’
So what has being a Legal Executive got to offer the would-be lawyer? "We can offer a fantastic range of opportunities to people, including graduates,’ says Mark. ‘Membership of the Institute of Legal Executives, means you are a member of a leading provider of comprehensive legal education.
ILEX offers a similar syllabus to a university law course and the option to ‘earn and learn’ – to earn a salary while working within the legal environment, thus avoiding being saddled with a big debt. You gain loads of experience in the process, which stands you in good stead in the very competitive jobs market that exists today.
‘If you are starting out we can offer full or part-time training at a higher education establishment, or distance learning via our own ILEX Tutorial College (ITC), which is probably one of the leading providers of distance-learning courses in the country,’ explains Mark. ‘We don’t neglect further training for graduates either. We offer a range of options for advancement beyond the ILEX Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law, which is our degree equivalent, through single subject courses, and further training for both law and non-law graduates.’
The Graduate Entry Diploma (GED) is an alternative route for law graduates to qualify as ILEX Members. The Diploma has been designed in conjunction with several university law departments and can be completed alongside, or after, a qualifying law degree.
ILEX also caters for anyone considering a late career change to law, and can offer study options for those who may find university is not an option at their stage in life. The flexibility in the courses to fit in with individual needs is a big plus for many.
‘With training contracts becoming harder to find and more expensive, I believe the ILEX way is becoming more attractive to a growing number of graduates,’ states Mark. ‘The divide between the day-to-day work of a solicitor and Legal Executives is narrowing all the time, and for all practical purposes there is now very little difference between the two.’
For more information on ILEX and its courses www.ilexcareers.org.uk.