Changing Methods in Legal Education

Something new is coming

Changing Methods in Legal Education

Something new is going on tonight
I like this grove, it makes me feel so right
Darling you know you better hold on tight
Something new is coming on tonight... 

— Music and lyrics by A. Mae, N. Yanofsky, F. Golde, J. Faulker, H. Hancock,
J. Watley, A. Cymone, R. Kleiner, Q. Jones andrecorded by Andrea

In an article published February 21, 2021 in legalfutures.com entitled “Legal education and training: Unfit for purpose,” Professor Chris Bones states: “The revolution starts now. Legal education and training is not fit for today, let alone the future….”

Prof. Bones is Chair of CILEX, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (“CILEx”) in the UK. CILEx is the professional association for 20,000 Chartered Legal Executive lawyers, paralegals, and other legal practitioners in England and Wales. They are recognized in England and Wales as one of the three core approved regulators of the legal profession alongside barristers and solicitors.

CILEx offers education and training to become a legal secretary and an apprentice program that leads to being a paralegal, advanced paralegal or Chartered Legal Executive and Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer.

While traditional lawyers are generalists on graduation, CILEX lawyers can achieve a specialist designation on graduation in: Dispute Resolution; Criminal Litigation; Residential Conveyancing; Commercial Conveyancing; Employment Law; Business & Commercial Law; Family Litigation; Wills & Probate; or Immigration Law.

CILEx claims that their professionals are demonstrably more diverse and representative of the UK population than their peers in other branches of the profession. CILEX does not restrict access to candidates with a specific set of prior qualifications; it opens up the profession to people from all backgrounds, including those who have not gone to university.

Their education program requires their students to work in a legal environment from the very beginning of their studies. CILEx states that students apply their learning to practical scenarios and build and refine the skills of a practising lawyer as they progress. They claim that their model requires their employers to validate their experience and competence at every stage, meaning practical, work-based skills are “baked-in” to the training and that CILEX trainees become adept at using legal expertise to address real-world challenges for their clients from the outset.

They recognize that legal technology holds immense potential to benefit both the consumer and the legal services provider by improving efficiency, by reducing costs and by enhancing accessibility. CLIEx states that they support the responsible uptake of technology and innovation in the legal sector, insofar as such progress continues to benefit the consumer.

CLIEx states that they have a focus on technical expertise and practical skills with the development of the core behaviours required to create forward-thinking, commercially minded, adaptable lawyers who really understand the clients they serve.

The CLIEx Professional Qualification (“CPQ”) program “sets new standards in practice-focused training and work-readiness, broadens access to legal careers and develops professionals at all levels who are equipped from the outset to add real value to their employers and clients.”

Students will be able to register for CPQ in June 2021. Something new is coming.