SQE rival for school leavers gets go-ahead

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By Aishah Hussain on

CILEX says new route to qualification will be “more affordable” than Solicitors Qualifying Exam

A new qualification that allows students without degrees to qualify as lawyers has gained the regulatory stamp of approval.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) Professional Qualification has been approved by CILEX regulation, and is now open for student enrolments.

The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) is split in three stages — Foundation, Advanced and Professional. The first two stages are aligned to the role of a paralegal, while the third and final stage focuses on preparing students for life as a CILEX lawyer (formerly known as a chartered legal executive) with full practice rights.

It will take school leavers around six years to complete and given there’s no degree or equivalent qualification pre-requisite, CILEX says its new qualification, which costs up to £12,500, will be “a substantially more affordable way for students to become lawyers than the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam”.

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The new qualification was welcomed last week by Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland. “I welcome the opening of CILEX’s new and improved Professional Qualification to applicants. It will ensure this country continues to produce the best and brightest lawyers in the world,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

CILEX chair, Professor Chris Bones, added: “As the CPQ gains the regulatory stamp of approval, we look forward to transforming the legal profession, developing the brightest future talent from all backgrounds to make the UK legal sector more efficient, more representative and better serve society.”

CILEX has committed £275,000 to fund up to 22 scholarships annually for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, through the CILEX Foundation. Each scholarship, worth up to £12,500, will cover the training costs of becoming a fully qualified CILEX lawyer.

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