Institute of Legal Executives
The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) is the professional body
Professional body
A professional association is usually a nonprofit organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest.The roles of these professional associations have been variously defined: "A group of people in a...

 for legal executive
Legal Executive
Legal executives are trained legal professionals in England & Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong who often specialise in a particular area of law. There is, however, no direct equivalent to a legal executive in Scotland...

s in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 and an examination board
Examination board
An examination board is an organisation that sets examinations and is responsible for marking them and distributing results. Examination boards have the power to award qualifications, such as SAT scores, to students...

 providing qualifications for legal executives, paralegal
Paralegal is used in most jurisdictions to describe a paraprofessional who assists qualified lawyers in their legal work. This is true in the United States and many other countries. However, in Ontario, Canada, paralegals are licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada, giving paralegals an...

s and legal secretaries.


It was established in 1963 with the help of the Law Society of England and Wales
Law Society of England and Wales
The Law Society is the professional association that represents the solicitors' profession in England and Wales. It provides services and support to practising and training solicitors as well as serving as a sounding board for law reform. Members of the Society are often consulted when important...

 to provide a more formal process for training so-called "solicitor
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. In the United Kingdom, a few Australian states and the Republic of Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers , and a lawyer will usually only hold one title...

s' clerks".

Traditionally, solicitors' clerks were not formally trained in law, but through experience had built up a working knowledge of specific aspects and could carry out legal paperwork as a fee earner.


The Institute set out to create a formal process for training legal support staff that would be recognised and respected in the legal community. With growing recognition the Institute's purpose has evolved: it now has its own front line regulator, Ilex Professional Standards (IPS) and provides a vocational career route from paralegal to professional lawyer.

The profile of the Institute's membership is also changing. Some of the most able legal executives are now law firm partners and legal executives can also become Judges in England and Wales.

Law graduates may also take an alternative route to becoming a solicitor by using ILEX's Graduate Fast-track scheme.

External links

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