Legal Professional and the differences between them
A solicitor is a legal professional who provides legal support and advice to clients and with due accreditation can advocate their clients in small courts. According to the England legal system, a solicitor traditionally deals with legal matters but not the court proceedings except in small matters. They are mostly used in services like family law, civil litigation, wills and probate, commercial property and employment law among others.
Difference between Solicitors and Barristers.
Lawyers can be simply defined as a member of the legal profession and according to the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, barristers and solicitors are considered as lawyers in the English legal system. A solicitor being a legal expert who primarily conduct litigation whereas a barrister researches the case and argues it court. Barristers are not allowed to deal directly with the client, solicitors normally refer them a case and brief them on it.
Duties of a Solicitor.
Their main duty is to meet and interview the client, ascertain the nature of their legal problem and establish whether the firm can provide the necessary advice and services in accordance to their specialty and their cost valuations. The main duty of solicitors is providing the client with the right legal steps depending on the client's case.
Extensive research and analysis of the facts and laws relevant to the case at hand thus ensuring the right advice is given for the court proceedings.
Drafting of the relevant documents and letters like wills and divorce settlement agreements that fit the client's needs. Solicitors also draft the necessary court papers.
In the English legal system, solicitors are mostly litigators. This helps them negotiate with their clients and other parties involved, giving priority to the clients in order to achieve the set objectives. This may also include drafting of contracts once agreements are reached.
In some cases they may represent their clients in smaller courts where civil lawsuits are heard and may also appear on behalf of their clients in criminal cases.
Qualifications of a Solicitor.
For one to qualify as a solicitor, a normal undergraduate law degree is required followed by a one year Legal Practice Course and finally two years of apprenticeship with a solicitor. This is normally referred to as the training contract. After that, one becomes a solicitor and is admitted to the roll.
In Wales and England, solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and are guided by the SRA Code of Conduct. They are also required to pay an annual practicing fee to the Law Society of England and Wales.
Other than the 80,000 solicitors in private practices in just England and Wales, there are other employers which include commercial organizations, local governments, Crown Prosecution Service and also Government Legal Service.
Finding a solicitor to suit your needs and support every single aspect of life is therefore very important. There are important factors to consider when making a choice including the expertise, costs and specialty. After careful considerations, one should get a solicitor who will provide counsel through every stage of your life.