What can my job title be?

What can my job title be?

Your job title is ultimately at the discretion of your employer. There are only two requirements from a CILEx and CILEx Regulation perspective, which are that:

  • you do not use the protected title of "Chartered Legal Executive" unless you are a fully qualified and practising Fellow of CILEx, and
  • you are not misleading to the public or people you deal with.

Under Principle 3 of the code of conduct, outcome 3.5 states that you must not hold yourself out as having a qualification or professional status that you do not possess.

The discretion this provides to employers is important, but CILEx would not recommend the following job titles:

Counsel

Whilst the term counsel is not protected by law, we would advise members against using it as it could be misleading to the public. In the UK, 'counsel' is very much synonymous with barrister. CILEx Regulation or the Bar Standards Board may take action against a member calling themselves counsel. The term counsel is more likely to be used in-house by international firms, which tend to equate the term with lawyer as opposed to barrister.

Lawyer

Only fully qualified members (a Fellow or person authorised for practice rights) is a lawyer, and may call themselves as such. CILEx Regulation may take action against a member who is not a Fellow or authorised person but who refers to themselves as a lawyer.

Legal Executive

CILEx discourages the use of the title Legal Executive as it could mislead the public or other people you may be dealing with. It was the title previously used by fully qualified Fellows. Fellows should use the term 'Chartered Legal Executive', which is a protected title.

The term Legal Executive is not protected by law. As a result, we have see non-members of CILEx use the term. This presents a problem in terms of potentially misleading the public, but unfortunately CILEx Regulation has no remit over non-members, and therefore cannot take any action. We have some experience of law firms calling employees Legal Executives when they are not. If a consumer has been mislead by this, and is under the impression they were receiving advice from a qualified lawyer, they can address their complaint initially to the firm. If the complaint is not resolved to their satisfaction, the complaint can be escalated to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Legal Ombudsman.

Solicitor

It is a criminal offence to hold yourself out as a solicitor when you are not. The SRA could take action against any individual for doing so. CILEx Regulation is also likely to take action against a member calling themselves a solicitor when they are not.

Trainee Chartered Legal Executive

CILEx discourages its members from using the title Trainee Chartered Legal Executive. This title does not specify the stage of training you have achieved. there is potentially a significant difference in training between a newly enrolled student member and a graduate member who has finished their studies and almost completed their qualifying employment.

Members can use the appropriate designatory letters in their job titles, or on websites or firm literature. For example ACILEx for Associate members, GCILEx for Graduate members, and FCILEx for Fellows. You can also use your membership grade, for example stating that you are an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. CILEx ask that if you do use this title you should specify your grade of membership along with your designatory letters, if applicable.

There are some commonly used job titles for non-Fellow members. This list below is not a recommendation of job titles, as it will depend on your employer, your role, and even your level of membership or experience. The list is also not exhaustive.

  • Litigation Executive
  • Legal Advisor
  • Senior Legal Advisor
  • Legal Assistant
  • Probate Executive
  • Conveyancing Executive
  • Paralegal

If your question is not answered, you can contact us by e-mailing practiceadvice@cilex.org.uk and we will endeavour to contact you within three working days.