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Bypass the generalists.

Become a specialist lawyer.

Bypass the generalists.

Become a specialist lawyer.

The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) is the new route to becoming a new kind of lawyer – a specialist lawyer. With practical training and the opportunity to specialise early you’ll be getting ahead of the pack and helping to shape the future of law.
Over 20,000 members. Over 6000 current students.
Established for over 50 years. Employed at 70% of top 200 law firms.

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Specialists are the future of law

The legal sector is changing fast and the old ways of training and qualifying as lawyers are out of step with today's demand for practical expertise. Increasingly business and private clients are looking for legal professionals who can show deep expertise in the specific issues they are facing.

While traditional legal qualification routes have focused on developing generalist lawyers who then specialise, the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) allows you to focus on the areas of law that are most relevant to your work from an early stage.

That means that as soon as you complete CPQ, you’ll be able to begin practising in your specialist area – providing your clients with your expertise in problem solving and adding much greater value to your employer’s business. CPQ gives you more exposure, more responsibility and the opportunity to have a greater impact and advance your career faster.

Quote from Millicent Grant, QC (Hon).

Your journey to becoming a specialist lawyer with CILEX

CPQ Foundation - Approx 12-18 months. Suitable for: School leaver, new-to-law graduate or professional. Components: 5 compulsory modules, Ethics & Professional Responsibility 1, Professional Experience, Assessments. Outcome: CILEX Paralegal.
CPQ Advanced - Approx 12-18 months. Suitable for: Law graduate or CILEX Paralegal. Components: 4 compulsory modules, 1 optional module, Ethics & Professional Responsibility 1 and 2 (if not previously completed), Professional Experience, Assessments. Outcome: CILEX Trainee Lawyer, CILEX Advanced Paralegal.
CPQ Professional - Approx 12 months. Suitable for: CILEX Trainee Lawyer, CILEX Advanced Paralegal, LPC, BPTC or equivalent. Components: 1 optional module, Ethics & Professional Responsibility 1 and 2 (if not previously completed), Professional Experience, Assessments. Outcome: CILEX Lawyer.
Quote from Emma Davies, Legal Officer, Royal College of Nursing.

A modern way of learning

Just like the practice of law, studying law is changing and CILEX is leading the way. Our new CPQ programme uses a blended learning approach so that you can study in the way that suits you. Naturally there’s the conventional book bashing – but all of our course materials are available via the CILEX hub so that you can create your own digital study library, make notes and use markers to help your study. Alongside your digital texts, you’ll also have access to a wide range of online seminars and tutorials, streaming lectures and hot topic sessions to bring your learning to life.

At the start of your study programme, you’ll be assigned a Learning and Development Adviser, a trained professional who will check in with you regularly, answer your questions and direct you to specific resources to support your learning. Depending on your training provider you may also be able to access additional resources and communities to further

One of the defining features of CPQ is its emphasis on helping you to develop the practical skills and behaviours that will support your practice. Everyone studying CPQ is required to take our Ethics and Professional Responsibility modules. These will provide you with a solid platform of knowledge about the legal system, professional code of conduct, and your responsibilities in areas such as data protection, client confidentiality and money-laundering. You’ll also work through a series of practical case studies in which you’ll explore your professional obligations and how to behave in different challenging situations.


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Flexibility with CILEX

Studying and qualifying with CILEX is designed to be as flexible as possible to fit around your work and life commitments. You can choose where to study from a wide range of leading training providers and take the CPQ stages at a speed that suits you – there’s no pressure to complete within fixed times and you can sit your CPQ assessments when you are ready.

Unlike other legal training routes you don’t need to have a training contract or graduate placement to start on CPQ – you can even start CPQ before you start your job, though you will need to demonstrate law-related work in order to develop your work experience portfolio and progress through the stages. In fact, many leading employers recognise CILEX training programmes as the high-quality, cost-efficient route for developing their legal talent and offer financial and study support for employees taking this route.

We partner with leading training providers to deliver CPQ so that you can choose where and how to study.

Quote from Carrie Clewes, Chattertons Solicitors.

Leading employers trust CILEX to develop their teams

Admiral Law, DAC Beachcroft, DWF, Fletchers, Government Legal Department, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Keoghs, Kennedys, Plexus, Slater and Gordon.
Admiral Law, DAC Beachcroft, DWF, Fletchers, Government Legal Department, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Keoghs, Kennedys, Plexus, Slater and Gordon.

The best-value route to launch your legal career

As a graduate from a non-law background, you will start CPQ at the Foundation stage. This will give you an understanding of the fundamentals of the UK legal system. From here you will begin to specialise on the areas of law that are most relevant to you and your employer. Your journey to becoming a specialist lawyer – studying, working and applying your learning in the workplace – has been designed to be both flexible and challenging. While you can progress through CPQ as fast as you like, the typical journey to full qualification will take around three years, though there is no time limit on your progress.

See the table below for indicative costs for each stage of CPQ.

CPQ Prices: CPQ Foundation = £3,700. CPQ Advanced = £5,850. CPQ Professional = £2,950. Total = £12,500. Price for each stage includes CILEX Fee for resources and assessments, and Course Fee based on CILEX Law School. Other training providers are available and may have different pricing. Excludes annual membership which varies according to member level. Prices correct at 1 Jan 2020.
CPQ Prices: CPQ Foundation = £3,700. CPQ Advanced = £5,850. CPQ Professional = £2,950. Total = £12,500. Price for each stage includes CILEX Fee for resources and assessments, and Course Fee based on CILEX Law School. Other training providers are available and may have different pricing. Excludes annual membership which varies according to member level. Prices correct at 1 Jan 2020.

Download the student prospectus for more information on the structure of the CPQ programme and your journey towards becoming a specialist lawyer

We partner with leading training providers to deliver CPQ so that you can choose where and how to study

  • Anglia Professional Training
  • Bede College
  • Brightlink Learning Limited
  • CILEX Law School
  • Damar Training
  • Law Training Centre
  • Leeds City College
  • Professional Vocational Training Ltd
  • The Law Academy
  • Truro College
  • University of Westminster
Quote from Faisal Ali, Medical Negligence, Irwin Mitchell.

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