CILEX Foundation

Broadening access

The legal profession is and always has been dominated by those from privileged backgrounds. Even today, accessing the training and education just to gain entry at the foot of the career ladder remains a challenge for many. The CILEX Foundation exists to help address this and to broaden access to legal careers by removing some of the barriers to legal education and career progression.

The CILEX Foundation provides scholarships to aspiring students and bursary funding and specialist advice services for members to enable them to fund the study on CILEX courses that will unlock their future careers.

The CILEX Lawyer Scholarship provides up to £12,500 to fully cover the cost of training to become a CILEX Lawyer, a designation that allows professionals to practice at a level equivalent to a solicitor. Eligibility for this and other funding is assessed on the basis of an applicant’s financial and life circumstances, with support targeted at those most under-represented in the legal profession and/or from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Millicent Grant Scholarship also provides up to £12,500 to cover the training costs to become a CILEX Lawyer and is available to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) applicants. Millicent Grant is former President of CILEX, the first person from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background to lead a legal professional membership body. Her commitment to supporting BAME lawyers and aspiring lawyers, and to championing diversity across the whole legal profession, led to her being awarded the UK Legal Diversity Award of ‘Black Solicitors Network Lawyer of the Year’ in 2017.

In 2020, she was made an Honorary QC for making a major contribution to the law of England and Wales, outside practice in the courts. Speaking about CILEX scholarships in her name, Millicent (Millie) Grant QC says: “As a black woman I know only too well how difficult it can be to make it in the law. Yet, I am testament to what can be achieved. We must encourage students who may never have thought the law was for them to realise that there is an accessible and affordable route to qualification. By doing so, we can transform the provision of legal services and improve access to justice.”

The CILEX Foundation also provides support to members who are experiencing unexpected hardship.

Alongside its work on social mobility, the CILEX Foundation provides opportunities for members to use their skills and expertise to support other charitable activities and promotes pro bono activity throughout the legal sector.

Check your eligibility

CILEX Lawyer Scholarships funded by the CILEX Foundation

“CILEX is committed to improving social mobility within the legal profession – ensuring dedicated individuals can succeed in the sector regardless of their personal circumstances.”

Our mission at CILEX is to transform the legal profession by providing opportunities without barriers. Through the CILEX Foundation Charity we are delighted to offer those from less advantaged backgrounds the opportunity to train as a CILEX Lawyer.

This targeted support for promising future legal professionals covers the training costs of becoming a fully qualified CILEX Lawyer as well as the opportunity to network and learn from thousands of like-minded legal professionals who have benefited from the CILEX route.

What is the CILEX Lawyer Scholarship?

The CILEX Lawyer Scholarship award is intended to support students from less advantaged backgrounds to access specialist legal training and become a fully qualified CILEX Lawyer.

The CILEX Lawyer Scholarship provides funding to enrol on the CILEX Professional Qualification, currently valued at £12,500.

The award is paid directly to the learning provider, allowing you to begin you studies at the earliest opportunity.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, you will need to show us that:

– the cost of study is a barrier to accessing the CPQ qualification: This means that without scholarship funding you would be unable to enrol on the CILEX Professional Qualification.

– you might experience challenges or barriers in accessing Legal education and training: This means that you have experienced challenges that have made it difficult to access opportunities to study law.

– you are eligible to enrol on the CILEX Professional Qualification, starting at the Foundation Stage: This means that you do not have any prior CILEX learning, and do not have a LLB or other qualifying Law Degree.

– you are a resident of England or Wales: This is because the CILEX Foundation, as a Registered Charity, only operates in this area.

More information on how we assess the eligibility criteria can be found here.

How to apply?

You will need to submit a digital application form through your MyCILEX portal.

If you need support in completing your application, please contact the Charity Support Officer via the General Enquiry forms.

We recommend you read the document ‘Information and Guidance to applicants’ before starting the process.

When to apply?

The application period for 2023 will open on 2nd May 2023, with the portal closing for applications on 2nd June 2023. Late applications cannot be accepted.

We anticipate that awards will be announced in early August 2023.

How are applications assessed?

Applications are assessed initially by the CILEX Foundation to confirm eligibility. Eligible applications will then be put forward for shortlisting by a panel of specialist volunteers. If successful at the shortlisting stage, candidates will be invited to attend an online interview.

The outcome of the applications will be decided by a panel of the CILEX Foundation’s Trustees.

Will I receive funding if I meet all the eligibility criteria?

No. The CILEX Lawyer Scholarship is expected to be in high demand and satisfying eligibility criteria does not guarantee payment of an award. An assessment process will be undertaken to select the successful candidates.

Assessors will consider the information provided in your application form, and you may be asked to attend a short online interview. Please ask us for support in submitting your application form to ensure you stand the best chance of success.

Will you share the details of my application with CILEX, my learning provider, Employer, or any other party?

The CILEX Foundation will only share your data with your permission, or if you agree for us to make a referral to another agency or support service. There may be some exceptions, such as where we are required by law to disclose information, or if we become aware that a person is at risk of serious harm.

For more information on how we use your data, please see our privacy notice.

CILEX Foundation Bursaries

The CILEX Foundation Bursary Programme encourages diversity within the legal sector by providing funding to CILEX members from under-represented groups to access training and continue their studies.

Funding is available to existing members of CILEX and can assist with the cost of studying a CILEX approved course such as the individual stages of the CILEX Professional Qualification, legacy qualification modules or specialist Advocacy or pre-Judicial Appointment training.

Awards are means tested and may represent the full or partial cost of your chosen course.

The next CILEX Foundation Bursary funding cycle will be held in Summer 2023, with key dates announced via CILEX communications.

Eligibility criteria

To be considered for a Bursary, you must be:

1. A current member of CILEX, living in England or Wales.

2. That if it were not for the bursary, study fees would prohibit access for you, or that due to current financial hardship, support is required for you to complete your course of study.

3. Intending to use a bursary award only towards CILEX education and training programmes or CILEX approved qualifications.

Awards are limited to a maximum of one bursary award per year/per cycle.

How to apply

You will need to submit an application through your MyCILEX portal. There will be an application process to complete and evidence of financial or personal circumstances will be required.

We recommend you read the document ‘Information and Guidance to applicants’ before starting the process.

CILEX Foundation Welfare and Support Programme

The CILEX Welfare and Support Programme is designed to support CILEX members who are experiencing money worries or unexpected hardship. By partnering with PayPlan we can provide members with free, confidential, regulated money advice.

PayPlan are a leading advice service, and will provide Money Management, Income Maximisation and FCA regulated Debt Advice, along with 1:1 support in complex or critical cases such as following bereavement, redundancy or long term ill health.

The CILEX Foundation will also consider applications from members who require financial assistance in the form of a Welfare Grant, to assist with an essential payment, unexpected cost, or to support them in period of financial hardship. To access the CILEX Foundation Welfare and Support programme, you must be a current CILEX member, resident in England or Wales. Applications can be made on your MyCILEX portal.

How to apply

Please apply on the CILEX Foundation page on the MyCILEX portal.

We recommend you read the document ‘Information and Guidance to applicants’before starting the process.

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