Case study

Chartered legal executive — Saxan Lisle-Fenwick

Saxan works in the personal injury department of Access Legal Solicitors. Discover how she got her job as a chartered legal executive

What did you study at university?

I studied the CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice at Bracknell and Wokingham College and the CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice at Guildford College. I also studied through CILEx Law School.

As I was already working in the private client sector, I chose to study subjects that reflected the area of law I was working in including, Tort Law and Civil Litigation. I also studied a number of compulsory subjects.

The course requires a lot of self-discipline but it is a great way of getting into law as an alternative to going to university. One of the best things about the course is that you can study at your own pace.

How did you get your job?

I started in 2010 as an office assistant in the personal injury department. This involved mainly administrative duties. I then became a paralegal within the department and started my CILEx training. This role involved taking on various legal tasks, assisting more senior members of the team with their cases, as well as handling a few of my own cases.

I qualified as a chartered legal executive in 2017.

What's a typical day like?

I have my own case load and supervise junior members of the team, as well as occasionally assisting a partner with higher-value cases.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is being able to achieve a successful outcome for my clients. This is a very rewarding aspect of the role.

What are the challenges?

Trying to progress matters when faced with difficulties and managing client expectations are two challenging aspects of my job.

In what way is your degree relevant?

While studying I was in a permanent paralegal position. The time spent in this role counted towards my qualifying employment, which is a requirement to qualifying as a chartered legal executive. Once I qualified, I gained a permanent role as a chartered legal executive.

How do I become a chartered legal executive?

The following skills are really helpful:

  • the capacity to conduct legal research
  • excellent organisational ability
  • the ability to communicate successfully with clients.

Studying through the CILEx route requires a lot of self-discipline. It is helpful to be working in a role that counts towards the qualifying employment element of the course, so if your current role does not include any relevant duties then I would recommend speaking with your employers to see if there are any tasks that you can take on to assist with this.

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