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    I've been thinking of reading and practicing Law in Scotland, as an advocate, rather than in England as a barrister (let's not talk about being a solicitor---I consider that job as suitable fopr me as cleaning loos). I even put Glasgow on as my fifth UCAS choice, sort of on a whim (although I ordinarily wouldn't be caught DEAD in Glasgow!) Unfortunately, nobody in my family and none of my friends have any experience with the Scotch system, although I gather it's very similar to the system used in Québec (both are semi-civil law jurisdictions).

    First of all, the qualifications process. After I do my Law degree, in England, I do my bar vocational course and then a **** and a shave as a pupil. After that, I can go and look for vacancies in chambers.

    In Scotland, there is, to my (fallible) knowledge, an additional step of gaining a solicitor's training contract, even as a "barrister". Does that mean that Scotch advocates qualify as solicitors at the same time? If there isn't, that means that the road to becoming an advocate in Scotland is substantially longer than in England---south of the Wall, three years for the degree, one for the BVC, one for pupillage, but north of the Wall, four years for the degree, one for the BVC, three for articling, one for pupillage. Why? Is it just an exercise in skinning students from their money? If so, it's a poor one, as Scotchmen go to uni for damn near free.

    Second of all, differences in practice. In England, if you get tendered a tenancy, you can work in a plushy chambers with comfortable chairs and a place to put your things. In Scotland, apparently, sets don't exist except on paper, and you do your work alongside the other 500 lawyers in a communal library with hard-backed chairs. Is that true? If it is, why do people even bother? I assume that gaining employment is easier, as you don't need a tenancy, you just take a pew and write... and I heard that the library is free (as opposed to some VERY expensive sets in London).
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    BUMP!

    Come on, there's got to be a Scottish law student somewhere on here.
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    There are but none of us have it in us to take in all that trolling.
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    (Original post by Doc.Daneeka)
    There are but none of us have it in us to take in all that trolling.
    What trolling? Sure, I write in a jocular tone (I mean, come on---my username is Yiddish slang for the membrum virile) but there's a serious question buried in there. A few actually.

    - How does the time required to get set up as a barrister in England compare with the time to get set up as an advocate in Scotland? By my reckoning it's nine years in Scotland, five years in England. Am I right?
    - Is the work environment (library versus chambers) better or worse?
    - Would you recommend studying Civil Law?

    I've read some books and like the idea of Civil Law; it's the work environment I have questions about. I'm worried that I'll only be set up once I'm old and grey.

    As for the skinning students from their money part, I was exaggerating because I really don't know what to think! Is it because the Civil Law system is that much more paper-y that students have to do a three-year term as writers/solicitors? I know how articles of clerkage can be damn near IMPOSSIBLE to get for middling students, even when you try hard and are dedicated.
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    (Original post by Schmeckel)
    What trolling? Sure, I write in a jocular tone (I mean, come on---my username is Yiddish slang for the membrum virile) but there's a serious question buried in there. A few actually.

    - How does the time required to get set up as a barrister in England compare with the time to get set up as an advocate in Scotland? By my reckoning it's nine years in Scotland, five years in England. Am I right?
    Scotland = 4 year LLB(Hons) + 1 year DPLP + 2 year Traineeship + 9 month unpaid Deviling = Junior Advocate (so you can say effectively 8 years)


    - Is the work environment (library versus chambers) better or worse?
    Depends on what you prefer. Having seen one of these libraries I have to say they appear to be perfectly fine.
    - Would you recommend studying Civil Law?
    In Scotland if you want to meet the requirements of the Faculty of Advocates you need to have studied basically all the standard courses as required by the Law Society of Scotland plus Civil Law and Private International Law (at least that is the requirement at Edinburgh uni).

    I've read some books and like the idea of Civil Law; it's the work environment I have questions about. I'm worried that I'll only be set up once I'm old and grey.
    Having talked to what appeared to be quite a jaded (but honest) advocate the impression I was given was that there is less and less money in pure advocacy and that the reliance upon solicitor advocates in Scotland is increasing.

    As for the skinning students from their money part, I was exaggerating because I really don't know what to think! Is it because the Civil Law system is that much more paper-y that students have to do a three-year term as writers/solicitors? I know how articles of clerkage can be damn near IMPOSSIBLE to get for middling students, even when you try hard and are dedicated.
    We actually have a very common law based legal system here, but at the same time we retain certain civil law themes (e.g. institutional writers). I imagine the main reason for making advocates become solicitors first is simply to give them the necessary basis in Scots legal practice to allow them to function properly in the courts.

    PS- If what I'm saying re: civil law is confusing then understand that there are different meanings to the term and either I'm too tired or the way you've worded it is a little confusing. Either way just let me know if what I've said doesn't add up.
    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by Doc.Daneeka)
    Hope this helps
    It does.

    Aside from those two years spent in a firm, the course appeals to me and I might want to do it.

    I didn't mean Civil Law as a type of law in opposition to Criminal Law; I meant it as a type of law in opposition to the Common Law. And I did take a look at Scotch and Québecois law (both use McBryde as a foundational text)---they do have similar features.

    Number one on the list is CONTRACT! (my favourite type of law!) In England, contracts must be onerous---if you do want to provide service for free, you ask for a pinch of salt in return. Québec and Scotland both allow for gratuitous contract. Which is interesting to me.
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    (Original post by Schmeckel)
    It does.

    Aside from those two years spent in a firm, the course appeals to me and I might want to do it.

    I didn't mean Civil Law as a type of law in opposition to Criminal Law; I meant it as a type of law in opposition to the Common Law. And I did take a look at Scotch and Québecois law (both use McBryde as a foundational text)---they do have similar features.

    Number one on the list is CONTRACT! (my favourite type of law!) In England, contracts must be onerous---if you do want to provide service for free, you ask for a pinch of salt in return. Québec and Scotland both allow for gratuitous contract. Which is interesting to me.
    Unilateral contracts and promises are a nice feature of Scots contract law for sure.

    Honestly though, unless you actually want to work in Scotland over and above England I would avoid taking the longer, more expensive, less well remunerated path of qualifying in Scotland.
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    (Original post by Doc.Daneeka)
    Unilateral contracts and promises are a nice feature of Scots contract law for sure.

    Honestly though, unless you actually want to work in Scotland over and above England I would avoid taking the longer, more expensive, less well remunerated path of qualifying in Scotland.
    Heh, as long as I get into a decent uni, I don't mind either/or.
 
 
 
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