What is the difference between Paralegals and Legal Executives?
The Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX), was formed in the early 1960s as a reconstruction of the old Solicitors' Managing Clerks' Association. However ILEX are not strictly an organisation catering for Paralegals per se. They are the organisation that controls 'Legal Executives'.
The term 'Legal Executive' is not generic in the same way as is the term 'Paralegal'. A Legal Executive, although falling within the definitions of a Paralegal (used as a generic term - see What Is A Paralegal?), is recognised as a separate entity.
A person who is not qualified as a Legal Executive is not able to describe him/herself as one, whereas a Paralegal who is not qualified as one, can call him/herself a Paralegal (hence one of the reasons for introducing the 'Licensed Paralegal').
Only Fellows of ILEX can call themselves a Legal Executive, and the average time that it takes to become a Fellow is in the region of six years.
Even when qualified as a 'Legal Executive' they have to work under the supervision of a Solicitor and are unable to work for themselves.