Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Barristers and Solicitors

Category Justice, Lawyer
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Explain the selection and appointment process of solicitors and barristers (14) Solicitors are ‘front line’ lawyers who have direct access to clients, providing a wide range of legal services. They are regarded as more accessible to the public than barristers. The number of solicitors has increased by 50% in the last 10 years. There are several stages in which a solicitor has to work through before qualifying. The first stage is the Academic stage. 55% of solicitors have a law degree. Those who have a degree in another subject can take a 1 year conversion course.

Some solicitors qualify through the ILEX (Institute of Legal Executives) Once they have completed the academic stage, they must complete a professional course known as the LPC (Legal Practice Course). Here, students are taught general legal skills such as legal ethics, solicitor’s accounts, professional conduct and subject specialisms such as conveyancing, business law, family law and legal aid. Finally, all students, except ILEX students who have worked for a solicitors firm for at least 5 years, must complete a training contract.

This is normally two years where the student is attached to a practicing solicitor, like an apprenticeship. However there is fierce competition for training contracts. Once completed, they are a qualified solicitor. Barristers are specialist legal advisors and court room advocates. They are independent and trained to advise clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their case. There are more stages to the training of a barrister to that of a solicitor. The first stage is also the Academic stage.

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Most barristers have a law degree, although they can also do a one year conversion course. It is necessary to belong to one of the Inns of Court in order to become a barrister. These are the Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn. When a trainee barrister joins one of the Inn’s they can be called ‘to the bar’ which is part of the procedure by which students become qualified barristers. The choice of Inns is personal and depends on which area of law you wish to specialise in.

On completing the Academic stage, the students then progress onto the professional course for barristers called the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Students study general skills as well as subjects such as civil litigation and remedies, criminal litigation and remedies etc. Next, the student is ‘called to the bar’ and undertakes the next stage of training called pupillage, which is the practical part in which the student must find an experienced barrister who they can shadow. Finally, the Barrister must then look for a tenancy, otherwise known as a ‘seat’ in Chambers from which he/she can work.

To conclude, the selection and appointment process for solicitors and barristers are quite different although they both play an important role in the Criminal Justice System. Outline the differences in the work the solicitors and barristers do Although both working within the Criminal Justice System, Solicitors and Barristers work very differently to each other. A solicitor is essentially a legal advisor who gives advice on common legal issues. There are currently over 60,000 licensed solicitors in the UK and they work closely with clients.

Solicitors are responsible for drafting letters and researching minor cases. Solicitors work much more closely with clients and they are often expected to handle the smaller, less interesting cases. While most solicitors have a specialty, such as family or commercial law, it is not essential. A solicitor is rarely expected to appear in court, unless it is a relatively minor civil issue. They are mandatorily employed by law practice firms. The other type of lawyer in the UK is a barrister. Barristers are trial lawyers. They spend most of their time either in court or researching the law.

There are far fewer barristers in the UK than there are solicitors. The position not only requires additional training, but also a talent for public speaking and presentation. Unlike solicitors, barristers do not work for a firm. Instead, they are self-employed, but they must give a portion of their pay for the use of chambers or offices that are provided by the court. To conclude, Solicitors and Barristers both work differently within the English Legal System, but it are important that they work together. For example, Solicitors must brief the Barristers on the facts so that the Barrister can prepare a case.

Barristers and Solicitors essay

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