What is Difference Between Solicitor and Barrister

difference between solicitor and barrister

Difference Between Solicitor and Barrister

The easy answer to the question ‘what is the difference between a barrister and a solicitor?’ The answer is that a barrister defends people in court through effective public speaking and advocacy. While a solicitor does legal work outside of the court. But yet, there are some exceptions to this differences.

For example, more lawyers are qualifying to become solicitors. A solicitor is a legal profession who is fully qualified as a solicitor advocate, but has the same “rights of audience as a barrister”.

What is a Solicitor?

A lawyer is a qualified lawyer who can take instructions from clients and advise on the necessary legal steps. Clients can range from individuals and groups to public sector organizations and private companies.

In the court case, legal documents are draw up by a legal representative. Attorneys provide clients with professional legal advice in a wide range of legal matters, which divides into disputed and non-disputed cases.

What is a Barrister?

Barrister wears a wig and gown in court. They typically specialize in courtroom advocacy and litigation, drafting legal pleadings. Also provides expert legal opinions, and researching legal theory and history.

A Barrister must follow certain rules and regulations when practicing as outline in the Bar Standards Board (BSB) handbook. The rules cover what barrister are suppose to do. Which includes their basic duties, which list the most important things a barrister should and should not do.

Likewise, the rules cover how barrister should behave. What they can do in the course of their work, and how they be in discipline, if they break the rules of the code of conduct.

What Does a Solicitor Do?

A solicitor represents and defends the legal interests of clients and can provide legal advice in many situations.
For example:

  • Protecting the rights of individuals and ensuring fair treatment by public or private organizations
  • Helping companies with personal transactions
  • Supporting people in civil disputes
  • Counseling individuals going through divorce
  • Dealing with immigration and asylum cases

The work of a Solicitor can divide into:

Contentious legal work that involves helping to settle disputes between two or more parties – usually in a court or tribunal.

Non-contentious legal cases, which may involve handling legal requirements of a client’s business or personal affairs. For example, managing company merger or drafting a will.

An Solicitor’s duties may include, but are not limits upto:

  • Communication with clients and other legal professionals, including barristers
  • Researching cases and legislation
  • Drafting of letters, contracts and legal documents
  • Representation of clients in court or at the tribunal

What Does a Barrister Do?

A barrister is often hire by a legal representative to represent a case in court. Lawyers only get involve in a legal case when it is necessary to appear in court. The attorney files the case on behalf of the client and the client’s legal representative.

A barrister’s job is to specialize in court advocacy and be an independent source of legal advice for clients. Most barristers are self-employed and work in chambers, but they also work for government departments such as the Crown Prosecution Service or the government legal profession.

Employed barrister tend to work for private organizations, such as the in-house legal departments of charities and companies. At a higher level, an employed barrister can involve in the development of legal policy and strategy.

Many barrister specialize in one area of ​​law, although some may have a more general practice covering a wide range of legal disciplines. A barrister’s duties depend on a number of factors, including practice area, but a key role of a barrister is problem solving and dispute resolution.

A Barrister’s duties may include, but are not limits upto:

  • Understanding and interpreting law
  • Taking instructions from clients and lawyers
  • Conducting legal research
  • Writing opinions, advising lawyers and other professionals
  • Preparing cases, holding client conferences, drafting legal arguments
  • Advising clients on legal matters and the strength of their case
  • Representing clients and presenting arguments in court
  • Examination and cross-examination of witnesses
  • Summary of reasons why the jury and judge should support the client’s case
  • Negotiating agreements

A Barrister’s area of ​​practice will determine the nature of his duties. For example:

  • A criminal barrister can expect to be more involve in courtroom advocacy
  • Family barrister can represent clients in court in a divorce case
  • Commercial barrister are likely to appear in court far less and spend more time preparing motions and consulting work

The Difference Between Solicitor and Barrister Training

After completing a qualifying law degree or a non-law degree and a legal conversion course such as the GDL, you need to decide whether you want to practice as a solicitor or a barrister, as this is where the path splits.

Solicitor Training

To qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales, you will need to pass the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). Previously, aspiring solicitors have go through the LPC – then you will still be able to choose between the two.

If you have A-Levels, it is also possible to train as a solicitor through a paid solicitor practice. Apprenticeships include SQE1 and SQE2 assessments. Additionally, an apprenticeship offers work experience that counts as a QWE.

A graduate course in legal practice is an option if you already have a university degree.

Barrister Training

To qualify as a barrister, you must have to complete three areas of training:

Academic. You need at least a 2:2 Bachelor’s degree. Once you complete a qualifying law degree of five years or studied a non-law subject, you must also complete a GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law).
Professionally. You must first join the Inns of Court and then complete the professional component of Bar Training.
Apprenticeship or work-based learning.

At the end of your period of practice, provides you have to complete all relevant courses, the Bar Standards Council will issue you with a certificate of full practice. You will then be able to secure a lease as a qualified solicitor.

ALSO READ: What are the careers in law.

Work Patterns of Solicitor and Barrister

Most solicitor are employed by a law firm or business organization as “in-house” counsel. As employees, they receive regular income, vacation, sick leave, benefits, etc.

On the other hand, barrister tend to be self-employed and affiliates to chambers that they share with other self-employed barristers. With self-employment comes greater income uncertainty, and a barrister not paid during vacation or sick leave.

However, some barrister are employed “in-house” by law firms and large commercial organizations (such as the Government Legal Service), which removes the uncertainty of self-employment and brings with it regular income and benefits.

When it comes to work patterns, solicitors and barristers can work long, unconventional hours. Evening and weekend work is not unusual for a barrister or a solicitor.

The Difference between the approach of Solicitor and Barrister to the public

The general public can go to the solicitor at any time and instruct him. This does not apply to barrister. The barrister is only available to members of the public through the public access system – if the case is clear.

Public access is available in all types of work that barrister can do. Except the work fund by legal aid. If the case involves a child, public access is unlikely to be available.

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