Important: The ILEC exam will be discontinued by Cambridge English after December 2016.
The International Legal English Certificate exam, better known by its initials ILEC or as the Cambridge English: Legal, is a high-level English proficiency qualification that was developed through a partnership between Cambridge ESOL, a part of the world-renowned University of Cambridge, and the TransLegal Group, a world leader in Legal English products and services. As the name implies, the ILEC exam is designed to demonstrate that candidates have the English language skills necessary for successful coursework and/or careers in international law. Accordingly, it is taken mainly by law students and practicing lawyers in pursuit of opportunities in an international legal environment. Many students take the exam as a certification of their English proficiency when they are applying to study law at English-language law schools or when they are seeking employment in an international legal context. Similarly, practicing lawyers use the certification when changing fields, seeking promotions, or learning English as part of a legal training program.
Because of its unique focus on legal skills, the ILEC is ideal for would-be international legal scholars. Moreover, as the exam itself is based on the kind of real world legal scenarios that candidates would encounter in their professional lives, organizations and institutions around the world know that high scoring applicants will be able to use English in practical situations such as: meetings and discussions; opinions and briefs; and correspondence and memoranda.
Also, because Cambridge English: Legal is the part of the Cambridge ESOL family of exams, it ensures candidates and organizations alike that their skills are also aligned to the broader, internationally recognized, requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference and can certify candidates with English speaking abilities ranging from B2 to C1.
As a result, the ILEC exam is widely recognized by governmental organizations like The Council of Europe, Ofqual, and the UK Border Agency as well as international lawyers’ association such as the European Law Students Association, the International Association of Young Lawyers, and the European Young Bar Association.
The ILEC is a paper exam that covers the four language skills of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. All four sections are weighted equally and all aspects of the exam use realistic legal situations and contexts as the basis for their assessment. Despite these similarities, however, their lengths and formats vary. Importantly, for example, while the Reading, Writing, and Listening exams are taken together, the Speaking exam is scheduled separately.
After the assessment, candidates who achieve a Level B2 or above will receive a formal proficiency certification. Students who achieve a Level C1 or above will be recognized as passing with merit.
The Cambridge English: Legal test is administered in authorized Cambridge ESOL test centers around the world. Dates and fees vary by location, so candidates should contact their local testing center for more details.