Salaries will vary according to location and area of law. Starting salaries are usually £15,000 -£28,000 per year whilst qualifying. Many report that they are on higher salaries than the trainee solicitors they are working alongside, even though they themselves are not yet fully qualified either.

After completion of the CILEx qualifications they can expect to earn up to £38,000. They then need three years relevant work experience to be a fully qualified Legal Executive lawyer. They can then expect to earn £35,000 – £55,000, and can earn much higher, particularly if they work in a big city or become a partner in a firm.

If you already hold the relevant post-graduate legal qualifications you do not have to take the CILEx qualifications, and can immediately apply to become a Graduate Member of CILEx and use the designatory letters “GCILEx”.

CILEx qualifications are highly valued by employers, as trainee legal executives can be valuable fee earners for their firms once they have gained their level 3 qualification. As such, an October 2010 survey found that over 77% of CILEx students have their membership fees paid by their employers, and 60% of CILEx students have all their course and exam fees paid for by their employers.

To find a role as a Chartered Legal Executive in a firm, we recommend that you contact local solicitors’ offices; local courts; The Crown Prosecution Service and legal departments of local authorities, industrial and commercial companies. Names and addresses are listed in telephone or legal directories (public libraries have copies).

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) also holds lists accessible from the internet.

Students may also wish to apply for holiday work to gain contacts and experience of working within a legal environment.

You should also read the situations vacant adverts in your local and national newspapers and contact your nearest Job Centre and the local recruitment agencies. There are many recruitment agencies that have specialist sections dealing with Chartered Legal Executive appointments. To help you start your career, CILEx also provides a dedicated job website.