Legal Executives will undertake similar work to solicitors and will specialise in particular areas of the law and spend at least five years working under a solicitor or senior legal executive before qualifying. Legal Executives may work with firms of solicitors, local authorities, the Civil Service, the Crown Prosecution Service and within industry and commerce.

Common areas that a legal executive would specialise in are conveyancing - the legal side of buying and selling the property, company and business law, litigation, probate - dealing with wills, trusts and inheritance tax and personal injury - handling accident claims.

Legal Executives may be involved in explaining complex legal matters to clients and preparing documents such as contracts.

What does a Legal Executive do?

  • advise clients and explain complex legal matters to them

  • correspond with, and on behalf of, your clients

  • negotiate on your clients' behalf

  • interview and advise clients and witnesses

  • analyse, research and summarise legal information

  • research information for the preparation of legal documents

  • liaise with fellow professionals from courts, legal practices, banks and accountancy firms

  • contact professionals, like mortgage lenders, planning officers or other lawyers, on behalf of your clients

  • conduct advocacy in County and Magistrates' Courts

  • act as commissioners for oaths for the swearing of legal documents

  • attend court to assist barristers and solicitors with the presentation of cases

  • prepare accounts on behalf of a legal practice

  • keep up to date with changing legislation

  • file and index paperwork

  • assign and supervise the work of junior staff.

Legal Executives should be able to explain legal matters clearly, be good at communicating with a wide range of people, both verbally and in writing, and have an interest in the law and research work. Many entrants into the Legal Executives have more than the minimum requirements and some have degrees.

To become fully qualified as Legal Executives it is necessary to be a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX). This requires Legal Executives applicants to be at least 25 years of age, have passed ILEX membership exams - these are in two parts, a Diploma and Higher Diploma and have worked for five years in a qualifying legal environment.

There are around 23,000 Legal Executives registered with ILEX. Once qualified as a legal executive there are good opportunities to work across the UK.

Opportunities exist for legal executive jobs to run their own departments and, once qualified, they can also become a solicitor.

Legal Executives usually work 37 hours a week and would be office based. Salaries for Legal Executives range from around £35,000 a year to over £55,000 a year for experienced individuals.

Contact the Legal Division Team

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