Does having a qualifying law degree make you a lawyer?

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Rascacielos
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I got my LLB in 2014 but ended up moving away from law entirely and studying medicine as a graduate. I haven't really thought much about having a law degree before but recently a friend asked whether I can call myself "a lawyer"? I said "no" because I'm not qualified to practice as a barrister or a solicitor. That said, I wonder what having a "qualifying law degree" actually means. So, I'm interested to hear people's opinions! I suspect most people who progressed to becoming barristers or solicitors, or who are planning to do so, will say "no, you can't call yourself a lawyer" but I'm interested to hear people's opinion nonetheless!!
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RV3112
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No. Having a law degree doesn't make you able to practice as a solicitor or barrister, nor would you call yourself a lawyer.

Put at its simplest, all a qualifying law degree means is that it is a degree that is accepted by the relevant regulatory body for deeming you eligible to enter the Bar Professional Training Course (Barrister) or Legal Practice Course (Solicitor).
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artful_lounger
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You aren't a "lawyer" until you've been admitted to The Bar of England and Wales (or whatever the advocate equivalent is in Scotland or NI) by the Bar Council or the roll of solicitors by the SRA as far as I'm aware (possibly some grey area with legal executives and how you might define "lawyer" in the UK...). To be admitted to the bar or roll of solicitors you need to meet some other criteria as well as having a QLD, such as the LPC/BPTC (or for solicitors, whenever they introduce it this new "super" exam) and an appropriate period of recognised training (training contract/pupillage) as well. There are some other alternatives (such as the solicitor apprenticeships, which kind of roll in the QLD/LPC/TC into a longitudinal apprenticeship programme with academic training along with the work itself) but in genera, a QLD is just step 1 of becoming a "lawyer".
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Notoriety
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So you completed an LLB without learning what a lawyer is.

The most you could claim to be is an "academic lawyer" which some gimps call themselves (my lecturer called herself this, even though she did not complete her TC), similar to the medicine students who call themselves medics.

Personally I don't like the idea of attaching my worth to someone else's wagon. I think having a good law degree is impressive enough without having to pretend you're some solicitor or barrister -- when there are many unimpressive people practising as either of those. Should I call myself a lawyer to put myself on the same level as some ex-poly lad who is doing employment law at a high street firm? I think not.
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BFG9000
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You are a person that read law at univeristy. Nothing else.

The legislative framework for the regulation of legal services in England and Wales is set out in the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA). Under the LSA, only individuals and businesses authorised by an Approved Regulator (AR) or those exempt from the requirement to be authorised are entitled to provide reserved legal activities. The six reserved legal activities are: the exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, notarial activities and the administration of oaths.
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Notoriety
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You hate to see it, don't ya. Ugly behaviour.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by BFG9000)
You are a person that read law at univeristy. Nothing else.

The legislative framework for the regulation of legal services in England and Wales is set out in the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA). Under the LSA, only individuals and businesses authorised by an Approved Regulator (AR) or those exempt from the requirement to be authorised are entitled to provide reserved legal activities. The six reserved legal activities are: the exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, notarial activities and the administration of oaths.
So legal execs, conveyancers and notaries. On top of solicitors and barristers.
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Rascacielos
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(Original post by Notoriety)
So you completed an LLB without learning what a lawyer is.
Clearly, it's a good job I never went into a legal career, with such a shoddy understanding of its definition.
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BathshebaBathing
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No it doesn't, however the fact you apparently got an LLB without knowing such doesn't bode well for your future...
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Rascacielos
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(Original post by BathshebaBathing)
No it doesn't, however the fact you apparently got an LLB without knowing such doesn't bode well for your future...
Nonetheless I did get a law degree and am doing perfectly adequately in my current endeavours.
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username2393237
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Yes. I’m a bit baffled that you don’t know the distinction. Did you sleep a lot in class OP?
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Crazy Jamie
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I can't say I've looked at the definition recently, but I would have thought a lawyer was someone who practises in the law. There are plenty of people who are learned in the law who would certainly not classify themselves as laywers. And as to that last part, the line between calling yourself a lawyer and holding yourself out as qualified to provide legal advice would be someone blurred if you called yourself a lawyer in the context of providing legal advice. Of course in an informal setting you can call yourself a lawyer, or a doctor, or an astronaut, or whatever takes your fancy. There's nothing wrong with it in the sense that there's no professional or legal repercussions, but it is a lie.
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