The Work And Training Of Barristers And Solicitors

2650 words - 11 pages

The Work and Training of Barristers and Solicitors

In the Western world, where the majority of employment occurs in the
service sector, rather than the primary sector as it does in the
developing world, there are certain jobs that carry a very high
status. Careers such as doctor, accountant and lawyer are to name but
a few of these high status jobs and it is lawyers that I am going to
be focussing on in this essay.

In England, since the 15th century lawyers have been split up into two
professions, barristers & solicitors. Solicitors have traditionally
been the people who research cases and barristers have traditionally
had rights of audiences in court.

There are 60,000 solicitors in the U.K. and 6,000 barristers of which
4,000 are currently working in London. Solicitors have traditionally
run the business side of the law profession running offices.
Solicitors duties can include interviewing witnesses and issuing
writs, conveyancing, divorce proceedings, drawing up wills and last
testaments, advocates in magistrates courts, commercial contracts,
tax, immigration and employment issues. Solicitors may handle a
cross-section of work however; there is a trend especially in London,
for solicitors to specialise in one type of work. There has also been
a recent tendency, for solicitors to form large partnerships, with as
much as 100 partners however, they may not form companies. Some
solicitors may also go into public employment, such as local
government or into industry as legal advisors. Solicitors are partly
regulated by both the courts and the Law Society since the Solicitors
Act 1974 came into force. The Law Society is the controlling body for
solicitors. It has always been a voluntary organisation and about 85%
of practising solicitors are members. Under the Solicitors Act 1974 it
makes training regulations relating to examinations and articles. It
maintains the role of solicitors, has a teaching college and provides
club facilities for its members. It is also responsible for the
administration of the Legal Aid scheme in Civil proceedings. From
1980, to become a solicitor you needed to have, either a law degree,
or a non-law degree; with the Common Professional Examination (CPE)
and partII exams or the legal practice course, a 2- year training
contract and satisfy the Law Society as to his/her good character and
suitability to practice as a solicitor. This basically means that
after finishing university a would be solicitor has to endure another
four years of work at a possible cost to them of £11,000 it is due to
this extended period in education that a lawyer is held in such high

Until the change made under the Courts & Legal Services Act 1990,
barristers with a few exceptions, the only people allowed to advocate
in the superior superior courts which were, The...

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