Qualifying without a degree


If you already work in a legal office, you can join the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). This is the governing body for chartered legal executives.

To join you must have at least four GCSEs (including English) or qualifications of the same value.

You need to pass exams to qualify, first as a member and then as a fellow. You'll also need to be in a CILEx approved job in law.

Read more about becoming a CILEx fellow  

If you choose the CILEx route, you can take exams that let you complete the foundations of legal knowledge and vocational stages of qualifying as a solicitor.

Read about this route on the CILEx website  


It's possible to qualify as a solicitor, paralegal or chartered legal executive by completing an apprenticeship.

You'll receive a salary and complete classroom and work-based learning. You'll also complete assessments before being admitted to the profession.

The standards expected of apprentice solicitors are high, the same as those expected of all solicitors.

Read more about apprenticeships

Qualifying as a disabled student

Education providers must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people if they are at a substantial disadvantage. For example, they must:

  • make special arrangements for exams and assignments, such as giving you extra time or special equipment
  • give you materials in a range of formats
  • give you support with study skills
  • make sure the exam room suits your needs

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