CILEx breaks down another barrier with Government Legal Service employment

News | 26 June 2015

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Some organisations still overlook the full spectrum of lawyers they can recruit, says Frances Edwards

The Government Legal Service, formerly known as the Treasury Solicitor's Department, has opened its doors to chartered legal executives to take up in-house lawyer roles for the first time.

Following an in-depth review of recruitment practices, the head of the service and treasury solicitor Jonathan Jones approved new proposals put forward by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

Commenting on the news, CILEx president Frances Edwards said: 'There are still some organisations who overlook the full spectrum of lawyers they can recruit, depriving them of practically-trained specialist lawyers.

'The Government Legal Service has adapted to reflect the modern ways that lawyers are educated, and I am grateful to Jonathan and the entire Government Legal Service team for their work which will broaden opportunities for CILEx lawyers.'

The first round of recruitment open to Chartered Legal Executives is now live, with roles open in advising treasury department ministers on tax law.

To be eligible for a role with the Government Legal Service, a chartered legal executive must hold a qualifying law degree or completed the graduate diploma in law (GDL) or common professional examination or passed exams in all seven of the foundation subjects taken at CILEx Level 6.

CILEx has continued to press ahead with plans to have its members placed on equal footing with both solicitors and barristers.

In April, the professional association, which represents over 20,000 members including 7,500 fully qualified chartered legal executives, and paralegals, called for the title of QC to be available to all members of the legal profession, arguing that it should indicate excellence and expertise irrespective of whether the indivdual was a barrister, solicitor, or legal executive.

Late 2014 saw the final legislative hurdle to full practice rights for chartered legal executives cleared, giving CILEx members the ability to set up their own law firms.

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