Barriers to progress

Barriers to Progress Still Remain For Legal Executives

03 June 2009 pr032.09

Attitudes within the legal profession are still preventing Legal Executives from fulfilling their full potential. That was the stark message from the President of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX), Mark Bishop.

Speaking to an invited audience from all sectors of the legal profession at the annual ILEX President’s luncheon at the Commonwealth Club in London on 2 June, he said that a recent survey of members revealed an unacceptably high percentage of legal executives reporting barriers to progress in their careers from within the profession.

“Despite 45 years of steady progress for legal executives,” he said, “with ever widening career opportunities, the biggest barrier many members still have to overcome comes from within the legal profession itself.”

He went on to say that attitudes would have to change as the legal profession modernises in the future and that ILEX would be in the forefront of explaining why.

“I know,” he continued, “that the Law Society and the Bar Council support our aims. It is a matter of good business sense to make the best use of all the assets available to you and that should include legal firms.

“Despite the negative attitudes in certain sections of the legal profession, the future holds out much promise for members. ILEX is supporting the highest standards in regulation through the newly created ILEX Professional Standards.

“Many ILEX Fellows are now appearing in court on behalf of clients, having gained advocacy rights through new training schemes. The number of ILEX partners has steadily increased since the introduction of Legal Disciplinary partnerships (LDPs) and an increasing number of are looking toward judicial appointments now Legal Executives are able to apply for judicial appointments in their own right

“I believe members can face the future with confidence and take advantage of the new opportunities that will come their way. The best way to overcome negative attitudes is through excellence in the work place.”