Why take a CILEx Advocacy course?

You might have come across CILEx before but perhaps you’re not sure what the organisation does or what it stands for? Read on to find out more about our exciting partnership, which could significantly broaden your horizons!  

In a nutshell, The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is the professional association for Chartered Legal Executive lawyers, paralegals and other legal practitioners in England and Wales. It works closely with the Government and Ministry of Justice, has over 20,000 members and was established over fifty years ago. Quite the accolades, we think.

Our exclusive partnership with CILEx, which has been running for over 10 years, has resulted in BARBRI Altior and CILEx’s Regulation team developing a qualification scheme to allow legal executives to gain litigation practice rights in Civil, Criminal or Family proceedings.

After you become a Chartered Legal Executive and successfully complete your chosen CILEx course you are able to provide a full range of litigation services to your clients. By gaining these rights and deepening your expertise as a Civil, Criminal or Family lawyer you are not only expanding the value you can bring to your clients but also the value you bring to your particular firm or department. Also, if at any stage in your career you decide that you’d like to go it alone or team up with others and set up on your own venture you, of course, take these rights with you.  

Many people have already chosen to qualify via the CILEx route and pursue litigation and advocacy rights to expand their career opportunities.  With this in mind, in this week’s blog, we wanted to explore the different areas of specialism available through the CILEx and BARBI Altior programme and get the lowdown on each one.

What is the CILEx Advocacy Programme at BARBRI Altior?

The CILEx Advocacy Programme is an exclusive partnership between BARBRI Altior and CILEx. We are able to offer legal professionals the chance to pursue three different course routes through the partnership (with the option to select more than one if they want to). Delegates can choose to focus on the area of law where they have the most experience and/ or where they want to deepen their specialism. The three CILEx Advocacy courses currently on offer at BARBRI Altior are; Civil Litigation, Criminal Law and Family.

Here’s what each of the courses focuses on:

Civil Litigation

The Civil litigation course focuses upon the nature of contracts in line with England and Wales’ Civil Laws. It includes the formation of legal contracts, what is required to make them legally binding, terms included and issues in relation to termination or breach of contracts. The CILEx Civil Litigation course enables Chartered Legal Executives to exercise advocacy in the Judge’s room in the County Court and the High Court.

The assessment criteria for this specialism fall under two key areas – Chambers Rights of Audience and Open-Court Rights of Audience. Our expert trainers are on hand throughout to make sure every student has the tools they need to succeed, and the assessments are broken down into easy-to-manage blocks.

The Chambers Rights of Audience has two tuition days, which includes an oral advocacy assessment. Students also get the opportunity to learn about case analysis & theory and try out skeleton arguments & interim arguments.

To allow enough time to review all you need to know about the Open Court Rights of Audience, five days are allocated to a mix of tuition, oral advocacy tests and a series of online evidence, ethics and procedures assessments.

Criminal Law

The Criminal Law CILEx Advocacy course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and experience necessary to work within England and Wales’ Criminal Law. It covers criminal law, including criminal liability, criminal damage, theft, homicide and other criminal offences as well as the nature and requirement for criminal defence. Your studies will also introduce you to the criminal court system, criminal proceedings, police powers and the criminal justice system.

This particular pathway will take students five days to complete but you will be supported every step of the way by our highly experienced training teams and learn from their real-life experiences to bring your learning to life.

After you’ve completed the Criminal Law Advocacy course and have been CILEx approved you’ll be ready to undertake litigation activities for your clients in the Open Courts.

Family Law

This pathway in our CILEx Advocacy programme covers a raft of areas concerning Family Law including the principles of marriage and other adult relationships. You’ll also get a solid grounding in family and childcare legislation, parental responsibility and legal provision for children, plus domestic violence and legal separation.

Like our other Advocacy programmes, the Family Law course is taught by professionals from the field who are also experienced tutors and able to support your learning. To get the best from the five-day course, you’ll undertake a mix of tutorials, online assessments and get the chance to practice your oral advocacy skills.

The content of this programme also includes an opportunity to examine applications under the Family Law Act 1996, as well as proceedings under the Child Arrangements Programme and financial remedy applications. 

What should I expect on the course?

All of our CILEx Advocacy programmes are intensive, interactive courses, which combine practical tuition and oral assessments to help our delegates hone the art of advocacy – all with the help of our expert trainers. We limit group sizes so that each student has the opportunity to receive feedback, demonstrate competencies and get the best possible grounding from the course.  

Delegates are also given access to our online portal, Mylearning, before the course starts. This is to help ensure that they can read through learning materials and maximise the time spent applying their learnings with their peers and tutors once the course gets underway.

What practice rights will I have?

Anyone who qualifies as a Chartered Legal Executive will be granted extended rights of audience in their chosen area of expertise – Civil Litigation, Criminal Law or Family Law and can represent their clients in the relevant Courts.

Qualifying as a Civil LitigationChartered Legal Executive allows advocacy rights in:

  • Open County Court hearings;
  • The Magistrates’ Court, in relation to all Civil and Enforcement matters;
  • Before a Tribunal, which gives a non-discretionary right to appear; and
  • The Coroners’ Court.

Criminal LawChartered Legal Executives can exercise advocacy in:

  • Adult Magistrates’ Courts;
  • Youth Courts;
  • Crown Court or High Court chambers in bail applications;
  • Appeals to Crown Court or committal for sentence if you appeared in the Magistrate or Youth Court;
  • Coroners’ Courts

Chartered Legal Executives who specialise in Family Law are permitted advocacy rights in:

  • Family Proceedings Court

What are the benefits?

As well as the enhanced knowledge and rights that you will gain when undertaking one of our CILEx Advocacy programmes, there are a number of ways that Chartered Legal Executive status will benefit you.

Firstly, you can use the title itself and enjoy the kudos of being part of a recognised and regulated community of professionals – renowned for the quality of the litigation and advice that they provide.  Your clients will also have the reassurance and peace of mind that CILEx Advocates are monitored by an independent regulator when you’re representing them.

Plus, as well as being more valuable to your employer by being able to offer clients a wider range of services, if you wish to set up your own practice in the future, as a Chartered Legal Executive, your rights to offer litigation services goes with you.  

If you’re still not sure if our CILEx Advocacy programme is for you, hear what our students have to say…

What our delegates say

Matthew George said: “I am delighted to have been granted rights of audience in Criminal Proceedings. The Advocacy Skills Course run by [BARBRI] Altior was excellent and provided me with a firm foundation on which to develop my career. I look forward to the challenge. The quality and calibre of the other candidates on the Course was astounding and I am extremely proud to be among the first in the country to qualify as a Legal Executive Advocate in Criminal Proceedings.”

Heidi Marie-Waddon said: “The course and the written and advocacy assessments were extremely tough but excellently run by [BARBRI] Altior. I am grateful to them and to CILEs for the support and assistance they gave me throughout. I hope other Fellows make the most of this opportunity and receive the same backing and support from their firms as I did from Ash Clifford.”

For more information about our upcoming CILEx Advocacy courses, speak to our team today at infoaltior@barbri.com

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