ILEX Graduation Day
Graduation day for New Legal Executive Fellows
21 January 2008 pr002.08
It was smiles all the way as over 160 new Legal Executive Fellows, friends and families braved the January wind and rain to pack into Bedford’s historic Corn Exchange to celebrate their success and receive their Certificates of Fellowship from the ILEX President, Lesley Graham.
The new graduates heard the President praise them for their hard work and dedication and outline the challenges that lay ahead as they took their first steps as Fellows.
“You have all chosen to follow a career in law,” she said. “You have worked hard and you have worked diligently. You are now Fellows of the Institute, qualified lawyers and the public face of the Institute. Being a lawyer is being a member of an important and in many ways a privileged profession.
“From cradle to grave, there is hardly any aspect of life that is not impacted on by law and the legal process.” She told them that as a lawyer their role was to help people through the sometimes bewildering complexities of the law. They would be privileged to be let in on client’s secrets, dreams, hopes, ambitions. “You will be closely involved with people helping them to make often life-changing decisions. You become their confident, their confessor, and their friend” she said.
She continued. “As graduates, you are now the guardians of the ILEX tradition and you are the future. It will be you that we look to maintain the ILEX traditions in the years ahead and continue to build on the foundations laid over the years. It will be your responsibility to continue enhancing the reputation and standing of the Legal Executive.”
Looking at the changes that would impact on the legal profession in the next few years, she said that Legal Executive should be optimistic. “What others may see as problems or threats to their way of life,” she said “we should see as business opportunities. The introduction of new forms of legal businesses may mean the demise of a number of individual law practices.”
“But that does not necessarily equate to fewer jobs for lawyers,” she continued, “particularly those with the skills and flexibility that Legal Executives have. It is all about having the right level of people doing the right level of job.
“Research has shown that there is a large untapped market for affordable legal services in England and Wales. All current research indicates that it is fear of the cost of legal advice or going to law that holds back the growth of legal services. The challenge for you as Legal Executives is to identify the right market for your legal expertise.”
Concluding she said that there are enormous opportunities out there for the taking for those Legal Executives that are prepared to take the risk, do their homework, and find the markets that suit their expertise. “The challenge I set you today,” she said, “is to grasp the opportunities that will come your way as Fellows and continue to maintain the highest ILEX standards of academic knowledge and practical skills for those who seek your help, your expertise, your knowledge.”