Other Legal Careers

Chartered Legal Executive

A Chartered Legal Executive is a lawyer (not a Solicitor or Barrister) who practices a chosen area of specialism in a law firm, in corporate in-house legal teams, in national or local government or third sector. Due to recent changes in the legal sector, Chartered Legal Executive lawyers are increasingly on a level playing field with solicitors and barristers, and can become judges, coroners, advocates and partners in law firms.

Originally designed for those students choosing not to go to University, the independent regulatory body for the profession, CILEx, offers graduates an alternative ‘earn as you learn’ option.

For students with a Law undergraduate degree, CILEx offers a Graduate Fast-track route which offers an alternative to the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Training (see Solicitor and Barrister). For other undergraduate degrees, you will need to take the full CILEx route, joining the A Level students through their assessments, up to degree level.

You will need to research the routes carefully as there are significant differences in cost, length of time to qualify and what your ultimate career goals are. Their website is extremely helpful and details all the important considerations: www.cilex.org.uk


A paralegal is an individual who performs legal tasks, but who is not a solicitor, barrister, chartered legal executive, licenced conveyancer or notary. If you have a degree but do not wish to pursue a career as a solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive, or are undecided and want to gain some practical legal experience first, then this is a rewarding and valuable route. It is however important to note that there is no defined career path, so if you do want to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, then it is to be used as a stepping stone.

Paralegal options exist in both the regulated and unregulated sectors, in the public and private sectors and in-house legal departments.

In the regulated sector, paralegals work primarily for solicitors, barristers, trademark attorneys, costs lawyers and licensed conveyancers. If employed by an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) ie a business selling legal services, then a paralegal can become a partner or director of that business.

Being a Paralegal is largely unregulated but the sector has professional bodies National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP) or Institute of Paralegals (IoP) which offer recognised qualifications for graduate paralegals, licencing and professional membership.

Other options

There are many roles that require the same skills as a lawyer, or operate in the legal context, but are not qualified roles. They involve drafting and/or reviewing contracts and other formal documents, advising on the legal implications and presenting a well-constructed argument. These can be found particularly in the public sector, for example, local and national government departments, agencies and offices for example HM Revenue & Customs, HM Courts & Tribunals and Ministry of Justice among others. A list of all Government agencies are here: www.gov.uk/government/organsiations

Businesses and organisations frequently have in-house legal teams to negotiate supplier contracts, review formal documents and represent the organisation in any disputes. Since the Government deregulation of the legal sector, many businesses offer will-writing, divorce and family, debt recovery and advice and many other business and legally related services that do not require formal legal qualifications.


Dispute resolution

Law Centres

Non-profit-making legal services funded through local authorities. See local and national press for job vacancies as well as the Law Centres Network which has information as well as vacancies.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Provide similar services to law centres, such as advice on debt, benefits, housing and immigration. Most offer legal advice and some employ in-house lawyers. The Citizens Advice Bureau website provides information and current vacancies.

Court Reporting

Involves recording verbatim court hearings. Requires no legal training but in practice can be advantageous. The British Institute of Verbatim Reporters website has information about how to train.

Court Work

Her Majesty's Courts Service recruits qualified solicitors and barristers as justices' clerks. In the magistrates courts, clerks advise law magistrates on matters of law and procedure. The role also involves managing the overall running and administration of the courts. The Ministry of Justice website has more information about the role of court staff as well as vacancies.

Law Commission

The Law Commission recruits law graduates who have completed the LPC or BPTC and qualified lawyers to work as research assistants to analyse areas of law to ensure they are kept fair, modern and cost effective.