Ilex rebuts study saying legal execs get raw deal

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  • It's laughable that ILEX is promoted as an alternative to being a lawyer or a barrister.
    That's not spiteful. The harsh reality is that the intake for ILEX is weaker and the education much less demanding than is required to become a qualified solicitor or a barrister.
    These two factors mean it is inevitable that the qualification isn't respected within the profession.
    People like Diane Burleigh should be ashamed. They've hyped the ILEX course and created expectations that had no chance of being realised.

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  • "Anonymous" at 4.36 pm should get his/her facts rights first.
    Legal executives are qualified lawyers and study to the same level as solicitors or barristers. The difference is that they study and are examined in those subjects which are relevant to their qualification and their work.
    In my experience (25 years in the profession) legal executives and their qualification is respected by the judiciary, the Bar and solicitors.
    Diane Burleigh has every reason to be proud of the achievements of legal executives - after all, if the legal executives were not recognised as qualified lawyers then there would not be over 100 legal executive partners in law firms or a legal executive Deputy District Judge.

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  • I am afraid you are mistaken. ILEX is not "an alternative" to being a lawyer, Legal Executives are fully qualified lawyers who can be partners of law firms, district judges, obtain higher rights of audience and much more besides. The level of education at which Legal Executives study is no less demanding than that of our solicitor colleagues and bear in mind, most Legal Executives study part time, usually whilst working in their specialist area and as such, are usually significantly more experienced on qualifcation than a newly qualified solicitor.
    It is for this reason that ILEX have lobbied hard for us to be recognised as equals and continue to publicise the ILEX qualification as another route. Particularly in such times when training contracts are hard to come by and even the most academically able are coming out of university with a law degree and finding themselves working as a paralegal.
    ILEX are also lobbying hard to extinguish the ignorance that clearly still exists .........

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  • Laughable?! It might not be spiteful but your definitely IGNORANT! Have you ever seen an ILEX exam paper? Honours Degree Level exams, 5 years qualifying service, whilst holding down a full time job and not to mention the impact on family life. Hardly a walk in the park! Seriously, if you think you are in a position comment, then you definitely need to read up!

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  • To the first anonymous poster:
    Oh dear, the world is full of bigoted people and here you show yourself off as a shining example of one. Of course it goes without saying that you, the bigot, are misinformed and fortunately many people realise that studying ILEX, often whilst working full time, is a difficult task in itself and the qualification as a Fellow is extremely difficult and a massive achievement and one that should not be understated.
    Sadly, it is the short sighted, ignorant, elitist, bigoted (call them what you will) people in the legal profession that have caused the ILEX qualification to get a rough deal, and Legal Executives to be seen, by some, as second class professionals. Completely unfair and unjust.
    Time to join the modern world! You don't have to agree but I think you ought to respect your fellow professionals in the legal profession and perhaps keep your bigoted opinions to yourself!

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  • If anything I have more respect for those who have qualified as legal executives and believe them to better qualified. There are people who are starting training contracts who have "knowledge" but do not understand the first thing about working in an office, applying that knowledge or what I call "real working" skills. The legal executives learn in a way more conducive then learning things out of a textbook, all the law degree does is teach you research and how to pass exams. I wish now I'd pursued an ILEX route.
    There are people all over the place who have a degree from a good university, have been involved in this sports club, on that community project and worked hard in a library but have no experience of real hard graft.

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  • Legal executives never get employed by the biggest firms in this country for a reason. Their academic background is inferior. That's not snobbery - that's a fact.
    Now I'm not saying that the above necessarily means legal executives are consequently always less able legal practitioners. Indeed, there are probably a significant number of legal executives who are better than some solicitors and barristers. However, by and large, solicitors and barristers are academically brighter.
    The legal market is saturated enough as it is. A half-way house legal qualification should not be actively encouraged in my view.

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  • Anonymous (@ 5:48 pm)
    Clearly you meant "you're definitely IGNORANT" and not "your definitely IGNORANT"? .... Enough said.

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  • I would be interested to see what research Dr. Andrew Francis was using to support his comments as his research does not seem to me to represent what I know to be the "norm". I accept that there are still some unenlightened firms in the UK which ILEX are having to work very hard to educate. Diane Burleigh has done an outstanding job of this over the last 10 or so years.
    The ILEX qualification papers are equal to those taken by anyone qualifying as a solicitor. This statement can be upheld by the fact that the Law Society provide exemptions in respect of those papers to any ILEX member wishing to convert to become a Solicitor. Many Universities provide a conversion course for this purpose.
    There are very many more firms who are enlightened today than there were 10 years ago and the status of a Legal Executive is now as high as any solicitor in those firms thanks to the efforts of people like Diane Burleigh. This statement is supported by the fact that within a year of firms being given the ability to make Legal Executives partners over a 100 have done so. ILEX also has its first Judicial appointment, another example of the high regard in which ILEX is now held within the enlightened legal world.
    I can be certain that Dr. Andrew Francis has not spoken to ILEX about his "research" and certainly has not provided a copy of his "study" to them for comment as I can be quite certain that they would be able to provide him with further information for his "study" that would alter his opinion.

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  • As a legal executive lawyer who has studied a law degree, the LPC, the ILEX course and even the CLC course I can absolutely, categorically say that the ILEX course is completely on a par with the degree/LPC route. The level 3/Level 6 components comprise the breadth and depth of a law degree and LPC course, and as many have pointed out, in the main this is done whilst working, usually as a fee earner.
    On the issue of the personal attacks (against anyone) they are wholly out of place and do nothing more than display a lack of informed intelligence on the part of those who make them.
    A legal executive lawyer is a lawyer, like a solicitor, like a barrister. They give advice, charge fees, provide representation, advocacy, can be partners in firm, become judges and provide responses to Government consultations. Any perception that an ILEX lawyer is somehow "less" than a solicitor is laughable. However, it is clear that there are some ILEX students, just like LPC graduates with no training contract, who will be discontent with their employer as low pay and high pressure take their toll.
    I doubt very much that when we speak of legal executive lawyers, the qualified lawyers, managers, partners, advocates, judges who have earned their place within the legal profession that the same sentiment exists.
    Diane Burleigh has hit the nail on the head when she says "In the future businesses will reward talent where they see it, regardless of ­professional label" and as the Legal Services Act, Clementi and Carter reforms take effect, this reality will become even more so.
    If there is any shame surrounding ILEX it is the shame that some professionals and students within the legal profession are still harbouring prejudice and discrimination against their peers.

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