The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has formed a strategic collaboration with the College of Law to offer legal employers training options for all staff, from school leavers to fully qualified lawyers.
The ‘one-stop shop’ is being cast as a “pragmatic response” to one of the key issues in the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) – the need to have more flexible routes of entry into, and progression through, the legal profession, with recognised qualifications for both graduates and non-graduates.
They said it is the only training service in the legal market to offer recognised qualifications at every level and provides different points of entry and exit dependent on employees’ previous experience and educational background and their career goals.
CILEx brings expertise in training support staff – such as through its secretarial qualification – paralegals and full chartered legal executives.
College of Law chief executive Professor Nigel Savage said: “While the LETR is set to publish its final recommendations in December, the college and CILEx are ahead of the game by already putting forward solutions for the changing face of the legal profession.”
Noel Inge, managing director of CILEx-owned law school, ILEX Tutorial College (ITC), said: “Our experience is that legal service providers want to be convinced about the business benefits their organisation can gain from training. Where these organisations need to develop their paralegal and support staff’s technical proficiency or perhaps provide a career path to become a chartered legal executive, then we will work with the college to meet their training needs.”
The partnership follows the successful collaboration between the two organisations and leading law firm Irwin Mitchell to launch the ground-breaking IMU Law and Business School in 2011. The innovative scheme delivers career-spanning training programmes that include people from all backgrounds and qualification routes.
Catherine Kenwright, head of knowledge management and learning services at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is great to see Irwin Mitchell’s own vision of three years ago being further developed into a new and direct relationship between ITC and The College of Law. We wish them both every success in this new and exciting venture.”
The college and CILEx are exploring further collaborative opportunities and plan to submit joint contributions to the work being carried out by Skills for Justice to develop National Occupational Standards, nationally recognised qualifications and national apprenticeships for paralegals.