Specialist Pathway in Family Litigation

Family Law - Specialist Pathway in Family Practice

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives' (CILEx) specialist pathway in Family Law and Litigation, delivers the knowledge and experience of Family Law in England and Wales, to deal with Family and Child Care Law.  It deals, for example, with the principles of marriage and other adult relationships, relevant family and childcare legislation, parental responsibility and legal provision for children as well as dealing with the issue of domestic violence and legal separation. 

Family and Family Child Litigation

Download our Family Law diagram for an overview of the pathway which prepares individuals for a career in family law, from a family case worker to attending family court proceedings as a litigation lawyer and advocate.

For key details and suggested course combinations, scroll through our pathway in Family Law and Litigation on this page or click on the titles below to go directly to the right section on this page.

Family Law - CILEx Certificate - Diploma - Level 3 Family Law - CILEx Professional Higher  Diploma - Level 6 Family Law - Law Graduates - CILEx Fast-track Qualification Family Law - Period of Qualifying Employment Family Law - Fellowship - Chartered Legal Executive Family Law - Litigation and Advocacy Rights

Family Law Pathway- Diploma in Law and Practice

Academic Stage 1

The academic Stage 1 Diploma can be achieved two ways:

1. In two steps: complete 5 units at certificate level and top up with 5 units to complete the Diploma.
2. As one single Diploma program: complete 10 units.

1.   Family Law and Litigation Pathway- CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Family Practice

The Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice addresses a growing need for a short but rounded introduction to law and practice, or a specific learning need within a specialist area of law and Legal practice.

The Certificate consists of 5 units; the selection below provides both a broad introduction to law and a focus on Family Law and Family Litigation or the Practice of Child Care Law. Level 3 units Family Law and The Practice of Family Law or The Practice of Childcare Law are required at the Certificate or Diploma stage if following the advised Family Litigation Pathway. 

5 units, Level 3 Certificate in Family Practice.  
Advised units for a Family Law specialist career pathway:

Introduction to Law and Practice*
Client Care Skills*
Legal Research Skills*
The Practice of Family Law or The Practice of Child Care Law
Family Law

* mandatory units for Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice

  • Recommended entry level: Starting or developing a career in Family Law or Child Care Law.
  • Role on commencement: Non-legal role, Legal Administrator or Legal Assistant, Legal Support role.
  • Level 3: Set and assessed at A-level standard.
  • Duration: 12-18 months.
  • CILEx Membership Grade; Student or Affiliate.
  • Progression: The Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice can be completed on the way to the full, 10 unit, Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice.

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre
CILEx recognises prior learning in law. Our trained and qualified team can advise on the best options available for an individual to start and progress their journey in the legal profession. 

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

   
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727  
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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2.   Family Law Pathway - CILEx Professional Diploma in Law and Practice

The Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice offers a broad-based foundation across key areas of Law and Legal Practice.

  • Legal support staff with a minimum of 2 years’ experience, paralegal apprentices, students and career changers may complete a Level 3 Professional Diploma qualification which consists of 10 units. 
  • The choice to complete the Certificate qualification and carry over 5 units into the Diploma is also possible.

This stage includes mandatory core units in law, to ensure that CILEx members are well prepared for a career in law, which is particularly important when considered against the background of continuing changes in the legal sector. There is also room for unit choices to reflect specialist interests such as Family Law or Litigation and the practice of Family and/or Childcare Law.

10 units, Level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice. 
Advised units for a Family Law specialist career pathway:

Introduction to Law and Practice* Completed Level 3 Certificate units may be carried over into the Level 3 Professional Diploma
Client Care Skills*
Legal Research Skills*
The Practice of Family Law or The Practice of Child Care Law
Family Law
Law of Tort
Contract Law*
Land Law*
Criminal Law*
Plus 1 elective practice unit
Elective practice units:
Civil Litigation
Conveyancing
Criminal Litigation

mandatory law units for Level 3 Diploma.

  • Recommended entry level: Experience in a Legal Support role, a Paralegal Apprentice, a holder of a CILEx Diploma in Law & Legal Skills (tech level) or a career changer.
  • Role on completion: Paralegal Administrator, Paralegal Assistant, Case Handler or Officer: charged out fee-earning time at grade D of the guideline hourly rates.
  • Level 3: Set and assessed at A-level standard.
  • Duration: Full 10 unit program is 18-36 months, dependent on prior learning and exemptions.
  • CILEx Membership Grade: Student or Affiliate.
  • Progression: To Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice to become a Chartered Legal Executive and able to apply to become a Family Lawyer, Litigator and Advocate.

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre
CILEx recognises prior learning. Our trained and qualified team can advise on the best options available for an individual to start and progress their journey in the legal profession.

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

   
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727 
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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Family Law Pathway - Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice

Academic Stage 2

The Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice forms the final academic stage on the career pathway to become a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer in Family Law. 

  • The CILEx Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice follows on from the level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice.
  • CILEx offers pathways specifically designed for Law Graduates.

6 Units, Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. 
Advised units for a Family Law Specialist Career Pathway

Family Law*
The Practice of Family Law*
Client Care Skills*
Legal Research Skills*
Plus 2 elective law units:
Elective units:
Company and Partnership Law 
Contract Law 
Criminal Law 
Equity and Trusts
Employment Law 
European Union Law 
Immigration Law
Land Law
Landlord and Tenant Law
Law of Tort
Law of Wills and Succession
Public Law 

* These units are highly recommended for Level 6 on the specialist pathway in Family Law

  • Entry level: Completion of CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice  
  • Role on completion: Senior Family Paralegal, Senior Family Litigator; fee earning time can be set at Grade C of the guideline hourly rates.
  • Level 6: Set and assessed at Honours Degree level.
  • Duration: 24-36 months.
  • CILEx Membership Grade:
    • Start study as Associate Member after completion of Level 3 Diploma with designatory letters ACILEx.
    • On completion achieve Graduate Membership grade with designatory letters GCILEx.
  • Progression: Specialist Chartered Legal Executive, Family Lawyer or CILEx Litigator and Advocate, following a required period in Qualifying Employment.

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre
CILEx recognises prior learning. Our trained and qualified team can advise on the best options available for an individual to progress their journey in the legal profession.

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

   
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727 
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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Family Law Pathway - Law Graduates

LLB/GDL Graduates

LPC/BVC/BPTC

  • Individuals with LPC/BVC/BPTC are exempt from all academic stages. 
  • Apply direct for exemption and complete the Qualifying Employment period as a CILEx Graduate Member. The Qualifying Employment section below advises on exemption applications.

LLB/GDL - Graduate Fast-track Diploma

The CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma is for individuals with a Qualifying Law Degree (LLB/GDL). It is designed for graduates who want to qualify as a Lawyer without following the traditional and more costly Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) routes.

The Graduate Fast-track Diploma consists of 3 units

Advised Units for a Family Law specialist career pathway:

The Practice of Family Law
Client Care Skills
Plus 1 elective practice unit:
Elective units:                        
Civil Litigation
Conveyancing 
Criminal Litigation
Probate Practice
The Practice of Company and Partnership Law
The Practice of Employment Law
Graduates, that did not study family law as part of their law degree programme, may wish to consider completing the CILEx Level 6 Family Law Unit both to assist with their knowledge development and to support their future development plans e.g. a practice rights application.

  • Entry Level: 
    • LLB/GDL Graduates need to complete the CILEx Fast-track Diploma before they complete the final year of Qualifying Employment. 
    • LPC/BVC/BPTC can apply for exemption from academic qualifications and complete the Qualifying Employment period as a CILEx Graduate Member. 
  • Role on completion: Senior Family Paralegal, Senior Family Litigator; fee earning time set at Grade C of the guideline hourly rates. 
  • Level 6:  Set and assessed at Honours Degree level.
  • Duration: 125 hours.
  • CILEx Membership Grade:
    • Enrol as Associate Member designatory letters ACILEx (after application for exemption).
    • On completion achieve Graduate Membership grade with designatory letters GCILEx.
  • Progression: Specialist Chartered Legal Executive or Family Litigator and Advocate, after the required period in Qualifying Employment.

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre
CILEx recognises prior learning. Our trained and qualified team can advise on the best options available for an individual to progress in the legal profession.

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

   
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727 
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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Family Law Pathway - Period of Qualifying Employment

A period of Qualifying Employment is required to achieve CILEx Fellowship and become a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer.

The period of Qualifying Employment requires that the work is:

  • Subject to supervision by an Authorised Person and; 
  • At least 20 hours per week in work of a wholly legal nature.

The required Qualifying Employment period is a minimum of 3 years: 

  • At least 1 year has been served at the Graduate grade of membership GCILEx (post-graduation).
  • 2 years of consecutive Qualifying Employment are required immediately before the date of application for CILEx Fellowship, whilst completing a portfolio of evidence of 8 competencies called Work-based Learning.

The Qualifying Employment period can start before, during or after studying for qualifications. Time in work whilst studying may count if it meets the criteria; apply early to ensure the work is approved for Qualifying Employment and Work-based Learning.

LPC/BVC/BPTC

Law Graduates with LPC or BPTC can apply for exemption.

Up to 43 weeks exemption of the Qualifying Employment period may be granted; the remaining period in the workplace and the Work-based Learning portfolio need to be completed. 

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre
CILEx recognises prior learning. Our trained and qualified team can advise on the best options available for an individual to progress in the legal profession.

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

   
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727 
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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CILEx Fellowship / Chartered Legal Executive application

On completion of the period of Qualifying Employment, students are eligible to become a Chartered Legal Executive and CILEx Fellow and use the designatory letters FCILEx. 

The application process for CILEx Fellowship is in 2 stages:

CILEx Fellows are able to gain Advocacy or Litigation and Advocacy rights in Family Proceedings.

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre
Get in touch with our experienced team of qualified advisers who are ready to advise you on the best way to develop a career in Family Law and Litigation.

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

     
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727  
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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CILEx Chartered Legal Executive Litigator and Advocate

Chartered Legal Executives can be awarded Litigation and Advocacy rights by CILEx Regulation for authorisation to conduct litigation and appear in court as an advocate in family proceedings, without supervision.

Applying for Litigation and Advocacy Rights

You can apply for Advocacy Rights alone or for Litigation and Advocacy Practice Rights together.

Applications are open to Chartered Legal Executives who are qualified and suitably experienced.

NB Holders of the BPTC may be eligible for exemptions from the advocacy course.

Application steps:

When the application is approved, an Advocacy or Litigation and Advocacy Certificate is issued with a Practicing Certificate to become a Chartered Legal Executive Advocate or CILEx Litigator and Chartered Legal Executive Advocate.

Become a CILEx Member CILEx Study Centre

Get in touch with our experienced team of qualified advisers who are ready to advise you on the best way to develop a career in Family Law and Litigation.

Student / Member or 
Centre / Training Provider:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845777 
Email: membership@cilex.org.uk

     
Employer:

Phone: +44 (0)1234 845727 
Email: employersolutions@cilex.org.uk

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