Big news from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)—funding for the legal apprenticeships that it spearheads as an alternative route into the profession is being increased.
One increase, from £12k to £27k, will bring funding for the chartered legal executive and litigator and advocate apprenticeships from the levy in line with the solicitor apprenticeship.
Funding for the paralegal apprenticeship has also been increased, from £8k to just under £12k.
In practice, this means that employers will now be able to use their levy to cover all stages of qualifying as a CILEX lawyer (the collective term the institute applies to the development of lawyers who pursue a legal career through the paralegal, legal executive and litigator and advocate apprenticeships), including practice rights and advocacy training.
At the same time, CILEX is also seeking to remove barriers and secure equality of opportunity for legal apprenticeships at the legislative and policy level.
More senior judicial roles are now open to CILEX lawyers and a bill currently making its way through Parliament could permit them to certify copies of powers of attorney.
There are also plans for CILEX lawyers to be able to become crown prosecutors and police station duty lawyers.
Professor Chris Bones, chair of CILEX, commented: “Achieving the same level of funding for CILEX apprenticeships as enjoyed by their solicitor counterparts is a significant milestone for CILEX and recognition that the CILEX route to becoming a specialist lawyer is an equally valid pathway and a vital part of creating a modern, diverse and competitive legal sector.”
He continued: “Ensuring equality of opportunity for CILEX lawyers and removing barriers to their career development is central to our commitment to both our members and the wider justice system.
“This year we have seen rapid progress in this regard, with government recognition of the important role CILEX members play in the delivery of legal services demonstrated by their commitment to prioritising the legislative reforms needed to open up senior judicial positions to CILEX lawyers and to iron out anomalies preventing members from being able to certify copies of powers of attorney.”