Ilex rebuts study saying legal execs get raw deal

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  • speaking as both a qualified Legal Executive and Solicitor with 20 years experience, i can say honestly that the Ilex qualification in my opinion was far harder than the additional qulifications i undertook to become a solicitor. i was interested to note that the first person to comment was not confident enough in their opinion to publish their name.
    as the Ilex qualification allows you to focus on the areas that you wish to specialise in, i have found that when it comes to newly qualified lawyers, those that have qualified via the Ilex route are much more able to hit the ground running when compared to newly qualified solicitors. this comment is made with the benefit of 20years in the legal sector and as an employer.
    Beyond this initial stage i have found that the difference blurs to become insignificant. So long as Fellows and Solicitors are given the same training and opportunity to develop their skills, they are both as likely as each other to make excellent lawyers.

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  • “Oh dear oh dear oh dear the opening comments appear to have ruffled a few feathers. It is no coincidence that the commentator wished to remain anonymous judging by the responses if indeed a legal executive can judge which of course they can now do. I appreciate and support your decision here and would not wish to change that right as comments like yours are hugely important to ILEX so they can continue to monitor the professions view and continue to adapt and improve on their identity and meet the various challenges ahead. Therefore, I for one thank you for your thoughts.
    Someone commented that the legal profession is a saturated one, implying somehow ILEX were to blame or adding to a worsening crisis. All professional bodies must take responsibility for this not least the two I assume you feel command the right to continue to manage and orchestrate how legal services should be provided to the end user. Unfortunately it isn’t working like that anymore not least because of the distrust and perceived angst of many of the end users in the profession over the years. As a result there is a need for greater access to justice for people and in order to achieve that it leads to greater competition. There is also the small issue of diversity and the right for anyone to have an opportunity to have a career path in a profession. Surely you do not challenge that right? ILEX provides that opportunity so ILEX is here to stay. ILEX will, I am sure, continue to help develop these areas and goals. The sooner other professionals who would otherwise prefer to maintain the old system accept this the better as it will only be then that the profession can move forward and perhaps start to repair some of the damage caused which has to be in the interest of the legal profession as a whole, stakeholders and all end users.

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  • A good lawyer should ideally have the following qualities:-
    1. Practical competence.
    2. Independence of mind.
    3. High level of intellect.
    4. Animal cunning.
    It is possible that all types of lawyers can possess the above mentioned qualities.
    Lawyers with only practical competence and animal cunning should not rise to senior judicial appointments.
    It seems highly probable that ABS owners will carefully select the type of lawyer Head of Legal Practice that serves their best commercial interests.

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  • Good afternoon
    I would be interested to know what proportion of partners within the Top 100 law firms came through the ILEX system.
    If it is above 20% then I'll be convinced that ILEX is on par with a degree and training contract.
    All the best
    Anon 16:36

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  • Controversial Truths
    (a) ILEX is as good as a law degree + training contract
    (b) A law degree from an ex Poly is as good as Oxbridge
    (c) Nobody is rioting on the streets of Libya

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  • Well regardless of what people think the following is true and should benefit the ILEX group.
    1. The status of solicitor is being devalued as services are commoditised and outsourced and also by firms continuing to train more solicitors that are not needed (used only for cheap labour) As a result, solicitors salaries are falling and will continue to fall. Most other jobs now pay a lot more.
    2. ILEX will benefit from the above as the cost of training is not disproportionate to the returns. (though as saturation continues this may change in the future)
    3. ILEX training continues to improve but training for solicitors is dumbing down. I thought the LPC was a joke. It's just a cash cow and the standards are awful.
    The legal profession is an odd profession and from how solicitors have behaved in the past I can only see them continuing to devalue the status of solicitor.
    More solicitors will be trained that are not needed. A proportion will then go on to do pro bono work. This will cut the fee earning work in circulation and so the downward spiral will continue.
    In the future most paid legal work will be done in India and China and what little work remains in England will be done pro bono by the massive and growing pool of unemployed lawyers.
    The College of Law will still continue to increase the number of LPC students but by that time the cost will be nearer £20,000.
    The trend is scary. Already LPC students are working for free. It's only a matter of time before this extends to solicitors.

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  • A lot of comments about how hard it is to be a Legal Executive or how it is just as good as being a solicitor.
    I went to university a couple of years before the rules were changed and all polytechnics could call themselves a university (The University of Central England Near Birmingham and similar). When I was sitting my A-Levels, I was told by my (state) school that universities and polytechnics were the same. This was presented as fact, however I remember clearly that no-one at the school could properly explain why much lower A levels were needed for the polytechnics. Or why traditional universities were still favoured by most employers (despite the introduction of sandwich courses and the like).
    I get the same feeling when Legal Execs say they are lawyers/the same etc. If that is the case, why not become a solicitor? Would it not make more sense than trying to change the world's perception of your ILEX qualification? Or is the reality that your academics are less traditional or weaker? Be honest.

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  • In response to the last post....
    Taken from the Guardian website's listing of top UK unversities: "Some universities founded in the 1960s, however, appear to be on the rise. Lancaster has climbed from 16th to sixth this year, the University of East Anglia has risen from 35th to 19th and York has gone from 11th to joint ninth place with Loughborough."
    In the 10 years or so since they were granted university status it seems that these new universities have proven themselves as equal or better than their traditional redbrick rivals.
    The moral of the story seems to be that once the glass ceiling has been removed, the cream will rise to the top.
    P.S. ILEX exams are 'closed book', whereas I understand that the LPC ones are 'open book'.

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  • As a foreign lawyer practicing in the UK, can someone please tell me the difference between a legal executive and a solicitor?

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  • Is this a surprise given that recent articles in The Lawyer have been mentioning how your training position can depend not only on what school/university you went to, but what school/university your parents went to?
    Like so much else in Britain nowadays it's not what you know but who you know and whose backside you kiss. And it's the reason why this country in general is going down the toilet.

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