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Solicitor, Legal Executive and Other Legal Roles

The role of a legal executive, paralegal and other legal roles

Legal executives are lawyers who  specialise in a particular area of law. The role is similar to that of a solicitor, however the training route is different and their training covers only one or two specialist areas. 

Paralegals provide office and case support to solicitors and barristers. They may also have direct contact with clients. Their work is often similar to that of a trainee or newly qualified solicitor.

Legal secretaries provide administrative support in solicitors’ offices and barristers’ chambers.

Court clerks are qualified solicitors or barristers who are assigned to work with magistrates. As magistrates are not qualified lawyers, court clerks are available to brief and give guidance on legal matters.

Qualifications for legal executives and other legal roles

Legal executives

To qualify as a legal executive, you need to complete a CILEx qualification. This qualification enables you to learn while you earn and many employers provide funding for the course. Non-law graduates need to complete the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and the CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. Law graduates or those who have completed the GDL can complete the Graduate Fast-track Diploma to qualify.


As there are no fixed entry requirements, trainee paralegals might consider a CILEx qualification or one of those offered by the National Association of Licensed Paralegals

Legal secretaries

Non-law graduates may want to consider doing CILEx qualification or qualification with the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.

Related sectors

These sectors may be of interest to those who want to work in a legal profession: