Legal Executive

Job Description:

Legal executives specialise in one area of law and carry out similar tasks to solicitors.

Job Category:

What you will do:

Your day-to-day duties will depend on your specialism. You could:

  • advise clients and explain legal matters
  • contact mortgage lenders, planning officers or other professionals on behalf of clients
  • research and summarise legal information
  • prepare legal documents
  • write to clients
  • draw up wills
  • prepare contracts
  • represent clients in court
  • prepare bills for clients


You’ll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Legal Executive, you typically need to complete specific academic and vocational qualifications. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. English Language: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential in the legal profession. English Language can help you develop these skills.
  2. Mathematics: A solid foundation in mathematics can be valuable for tasks like legal research, financial calculations, and understanding complex legal documents.
  3. Science: While not a strict requirement, some legal areas, such as environmental law or patent law, may benefit from a background in science-related subjects.
  4. History or Politics: These subjects can provide a foundation for understanding legal systems, government structures, and historical legal developments.
  5. Law (if available): Some schools offer law courses. Taking such a course can give you an early introduction to legal concepts and terminology.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could do a law degree, or a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) if your degree is not in law. You would then do:

  • the Graduate Fast-Track Diploma
  • 3 years’ qualifying employment

Courses may differ from country to country. In the UK, however, you could take the following college courses to qualify:

  • CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice

After completing a college qualification, you would do a 3-year period of qualifying employment. This means you’ll carry out legal work under the supervision of a solicitor, senior chartered legal executive, barrister or licensed conveyancer.

You could do this in a legal practice, a legal department of a private company or in a government department.

You could take start by taking an advanced paralegal apprenticeship.

You could then move on to a chartered legal executive higher apprenticeship.

As part of these apprenticeships you will study to gain the following professional qualifications:

  • CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice
  • CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice

A lot of people work for a law firm and study for qualifications part-time.

You could study for CILEx qualifications even if you’re not working in a legal environment, as long as you meet their entry requirements. Qualifications may be studied full-time, part-time or by distance learning.

In the UK, you’ll need to register with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives to start your training. There may be similar councils in other countries.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a police station, in a court or in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could take on more complex cases and build up a large client base. You could also progress to leading a team of legal executives and secretaries, or become a practice manager in a law firm.

With further study, you could qualify as a solicitor.