ILEX Sets Higher StandardsThrough New Member Grades
14 October 2009 pr041.09
The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) has launched a new system of membership grades with wider reaching requirements for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The new system, which comes into effect immediately, also reflects the learning milestones achieved by prospective Legal Executive lawyers as they work their way up the ladder.
Commenting on the ethos behind the new grades, ILEX President and Chair of the ILEX Education Committee, Judith Gordon Nichols stated: “ILEX believes in progress through knowledge. We say that it is unthinkable for anyone to undertake legal work for individuals and businesses without relevant education, training, qualification and regulation. We have now moved to a structure that better supports those values.
“Previously many ILEX members fell into what was called the Student category, but that label didn’t fully acknowledge the valuable skills they were amassing whilst undertaking their ILEX qualifications.
The ‘ILEX Student member’ category will now only contain individuals who have no relevant qualification and who possess less than 3 years’ experience of fee-earning work in the legal sector. Many of those who were previously termed ILEX Students will now have their achievements formally recognised by a number of new grades, some of which entitle them to use designated letters after their names, and impose CPD obligations on them. This will provide reassurance for employers and clients alike,” she explained.
‘ILEX Affiliates’ are the first grade up from the redefined ‘Student’ category. Affiliates members will hold at least one ILEX Level 3 unit qualification (set and assessed at A-level difficulty), or will have completed a relevant legal qualification at Level 2, or at least three years’ experience in a legal environment undertaking predominantly fee earning work.
The ‘ILEX Associate ‘member follows on. This category has been remodelled to embody all those who have completed their ILEX Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice or who are graduates with Qualifying Law Degrees. Associate members can now use the designatory letters A.Inst.L.Ex after their name, and are required to complete eight hours of CPD.
The ‘ILEX Graduate Member’ category will comprise those who have completed the ILEX Level 6 ILEX Professional Diploma in Law and Practice (which is set and assessed at honours degree level), and those holding either an Legal Practice Course (LPC) or a Bar Vocational Course (BVC) qualification. Graduate members are entitled to use the designatory letters G.Inst.L.Ex after their name, and are required to undertake 12 hours of CPD.
The ‘ILEX Fellows’ category will remain as it is, still requiring completion of the relevant academic qualifications, and five years’ qualifying employment, at least two of which must be after completing ILEX’s academic requirements. ILEX Fellows are recognised as qualified lawyers and only they are eligible to use the term Legal Executive and the designatory letters F.Inst.L.Ex. Fellows are required to take 16 hours of CPD.
“Our new membership structure will help reassure employers and clients and clearly establish the level of competence which their individual adviser has reached, with recognition of the skills they have achieved along the way. Once they have completed their first stage of ILEX academic training and become an Associate, employers can charge fee-earning time as level D litigation assistant fee scale, which is currently up to £136 an hour in London and up to £116 nationally Ms Gordon Nichols continued.
“Once they have passed their second stage of ILEX academic training and become a Graduate Member they can be charged out at level C litigation assistant fee scale, which is currently up to £222 an hour in London or £158 nationally. Thereafter, with experience, there is no reason for ILEX Fellows not to make grade A fee earners” she stressed.
All ILEX members will continue to be regulated by ILEX Professional Standards (IPS).