“You are at the cutting edge” new Chartered Legal Executives told
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has celebrated the achievements of more than 200 Graduate members and Fellows at the 2015 Graduation and Admission Ceremonies.
Held in Bedford, the ceremonies saw new Chartered Legal Executives swear an Oath to “act at all times with integrity” as they were formally admitted into the lawyer profession.
Keynote speakers included Judge Nicola Davies DBE and Baroness Ruth Deech.
Addressing the graduates, Baroness Deech said: “You in CILEx are at the cutting edge of an ancient and proud profession. You represent social mobility because of your different backgrounds and non-traditional entries into the profession...All of this diversity amounts to the raising of the flag of rebellion to the Lord Chancellor. His cuts might have had the effect of deterring many graduates from taking on family and criminal work, because there is no legal aid and no way to earn a modest living in order to pay off their student debt. But if chartered legal executives continue the progress they have so strikingly made in the last decades, you may be the ones rising to the judiciary and keeping it representative of the population.”
Judge Davies encouraged Chartered Legal Executives to put themselves forward for judicial appointments. She said: “I would like to offer my thanks to CILEx for the work they have done in supporting the judiciary in our many events, and in our quest for greater diversity. CILEx has been a real force for good, and I thank them.”
78 new Chartered Legal Executives were admitted as Fellows of the Institute, and 153 Graduate members also celebrated completing CILEx’s final academic stage which is set and assessed at honours degree level. The scrolls were handed out by the Institute’s president, Frances Edwards, who said: “Yours is a path trodden by the thousands of Chartered Legal Executives who have preceded you. It takes courage and commitment, and your reward is knowing that you are experienced lawyers from the off.”
Among those attending the ceremonies was Fay Lynch, who qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive. She said: “Today has been absolutely amazing, and the support has been wonderful. Studying was hard for me as my mum had cancer twice, but studying by distance learning enabled me to achieve the qualification and continue to support her.”
Also at the ceremony, a special commendation was awarded to Alan Kershaw who has served as chair of CILEx Regulation since its establishment in 2008. Alan, whose term of office concludes at the end of May, was surprised with the award given in recognition of his leadership in securing additional practice rights for CILEx members. Addressing the graduates, he said: “The option of independent practice is now yours, and yours for the taking. You are the specialist lawyers. ”