what is a solicitor? Watch

Hooriya Qazal
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hey guys..
am a bit confused here..
i need to know whats the difference between a lawyer , a barrister , a solicitor, an advocate and a magistrate??

I am from Pakistan and people here have a very narrow image of Law..they just see them as normal lawyers and judges..i need to the differences..as ill be starting off my LLB in sept (external programme from LSE)
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Onearmedbandit
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Maybe this is a lazy response, but you're probably best off with our old friend wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solicitor

In particular:
In the English legal system solicitors have traditionally dealt with any legal matter apart from conducting proceedings in courts (advocacy), except minor criminal cases tried in Magistrates' Courts and small value civil cases tried in county courts, which are almost always handled by solicitors. The other branch of the English legal profession, a barrister, has traditionally carried out the advocacy functions. Barristers would not deal with the public direct. This is no longer the case, as solicitor advocates may act at certain higher levels of court, which were previously barred to them. Similarly, the public may now engage a barrister directly and without the need for a solicitor in certain circumstances.[1]
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River85
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A lawyer is just a person who practices law. This could be a solicitor, legal executive or barrister.

A solicitor is the "public face" of the legal profession. The person you're most likely to come into contact with. They give advice on legal matters and represent clients in magistrates courts. For complex cases, or trials at county and crown courts, they will refer their client to a barrister (and brief the barrister).

A barrister specialised in advocacy. They present cases in crown courts after being instructed by a solicitor. An advoate is a similar position. To put it in simple terms an advoate is what they call barristers in Scotland.

A magistrate is not a paid professional. They are members of the public volunteering their services. They work in magistrates courts and they listen to prosecutions of more minor offences and decide on what additional requirements may be placed on offenders. You also have a small number of professional magistrates although these are usually called district judges.

Also, without confusing matters, you have legal executives. These are paid professionals. Their role is similar to that of a solicitor except they specialise in one area of law usually.

I hope this does as an explanation, sorry if I've made some mistakes. I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment. I'll come back later on to clarify.
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rkd
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Lawyer - General term for the next three
Barrister - The legal specialists who give specialist opinions ('counsel's opinion') and who generally appear in higher courts
Solicitor - The public face of the profession (you need to go through a solicitor to get in touch with a barrister), can appear in lower courts, typically does mundane legal stuff like advice, conveyancing and wills
Solicitor-advocate - A solicitor who's also qualified to appear in higher courts, so can argue cases like a barrister can
Advocate - This wasn't covered in my Law AS, but I think it's the Scottish version of a barrister
Magistrate - The lowest level of judge, deals with fairly minor cases, doesn't have to be legally qualified
Judge - A (possibly former) senoir barrister or solicitor who judges more complex cases
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crill
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Someone who solicits
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Hooriya Qazal
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(Original post by River85)
A lawyer is just a person who practices law. This could be a solicitor, legal executive or barrister.

A solicitor is the "public face" of the legal profession. The person you're most likely to come into contact with. They give advice on legal matters and represent clients in magistrates courts. For complex cases, or trials at county and crown courts, they will refer their client to a barrister (and brief the barrister).

A barrister specialised in advocacy. They present cases in crown courts after being instructed by a solicitor. An advoate is a similar position. To put it in simple terms an advoate is what they call barristers in Scotland.

A magistrate is not a paid professional. They are members of the public volunteering their services. They work in magistrates courts and they listen to prosecutions of more minor offences and decide on what additional requirements may be placed on offenders. You also have a small number of professional magistrates although these are usually called district judges.

Also, without confusing matters, you have legal executives. These are paid professionals. Their role is similar to that of a solicitor except they specialise in one area of law usually.

I hope this does as an explanation, sorry if I've made some mistakes. I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment. I'll come back later on to clarify.
thank you so much..that helped alot..! (Y)..
if there is something else ..i will trouble you again..
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Hooriya Qazal
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(Original post by rkd)
Lawyer - General term for the next three
Barrister - The legal specialists who give specialist opinions ('counsel's opinion') and who generally appear in higher courts
Solicitor - The public face of the profession (you need to go through a solicitor to get in touch with a barrister), can appear in lower courts, typically does mundane legal stuff like advice, conveyancing and wills
Solicitor-advocate - A solicitor who's also qualified to appear in higher courts, so can argue cases like a barrister can
Advocate - This wasn't covered in my Law AS, but I think it's the Scottish version of a barrister
Magistrate - The lowest level of judge, deals with fairly minor cases, doesn't have to be legally qualified
Judge - A (possibly former) senoir barrister or solicitor who judges more complex cases
thanks alot...one more thing..after doing my LLB i can practise law right?..and further on is there a further course to become a solicitor after LLB?
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e-lover
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A gold-digging son-of-a-***** was the last definition I checked ...
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rkd
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(Original post by Hooriya Qazal)
thanks alot...one more thing..after doing my LLB i can practise law right?..and further on is there a further course to become a solicitor after LLB?
No, you can't, not immediately. You'll need two or three years of further training, depending on which route you want to follow. To become a barrister, you'll need to take the year-long Bar Vocational Course (BVC) and then a year of pupillage, working with a barrister. To become a solicitor, you'll need to take the one-year Legal Practice Course (LPC) then a two-year training contract. Without this, you won't be called to the Bar/entered on the Roll and so can't appear in courts, give professional legal advice, or do anything that requires you to be qualified.

Don't forget that your LLB will need to be 'qualifying' - that is, cover the seven fundamental areas of law.
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River85
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(Original post by rkd)
Don't forget that your LLB will need to be 'qualifying' - that is, cover the seven fundamental areas of law.
Qualifying law degrees can be found here (listed according to institution).

http://www.sra.org.uk/students/academic-stage.page

OP, are you actually planning on studying in the UK? If so Scotland or England/Wales/Northern Ireland? Where do you intend to practice (England, Scotland or elswhere?)
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rkd
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(Original post by River85)
Qualifying law degrees can be found here (listed according to institution).

http://www.sra.org.uk/students/academic-stage.page
In some cases, whether the degree is qualifying or not depends on module options - so those who want to practice can, whereas those who don't or who want to become academic lawyers can follow their interests, presumably. Cambridge's seems to work like this, for example, with the Equity and EU Law papers optional.
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Hooriya Qazal
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(Original post by rkd)
No, you can't, not immediately. You'll need two or three years of further training, depending on which route you want to follow. To become a barrister, you'll need to take the year-long Bar Vocational Course (BVC) and then a year of pupillage, working with a barrister. To become a solicitor, you'll need to take the one-year Legal Practice Course (LPC) then a two-year training contract. Without this, you won't be called to the Bar/entered on the Roll and so can't appear in courts, give professional legal advice, or do anything that requires you to be qualified.

Don't forget that your LLB will need to be 'qualifying' - that is, cover the seven fundamental areas of law.
thanks alot! i wanted to confirm this only!
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Hooriya Qazal
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(Original post by River85)
Qualifying law degrees can be found here (listed according to institution).

http://www.sra.org.uk/students/academic-stage.page

OP, are you actually planning on studying in the UK? If so Scotland or England/Wales/Northern Ireland? Where do you intend to practice (England, Scotland or elswhere?)
well as i told you i study in Pakistan..and ill be doing my LLB through the external course of London School of Economics , which my college offers.. after my LLB i was planning on to do my LLM from UK.. and then probably if my luck is with me i will seek for employment in UK only..if not then ill have to go to either Dubai or most probably to Pakistan only..but the problem is this that in Pakistan the political situation is not that good and the only thing i could practise over there is either become a legal advisor of a bank.. or practise family law side by side..( i want to specialise as a cooperate lawyer)...
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River85
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Ok, just if you decided to work in Scotland, after graduating, you'd need to convert to Scottish law but such an issue can wait.
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Hooriya Qazal
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(Original post by River85)
Ok, just if you decided to work in Scotland, after graduating, you'd need to convert to Scottish law but such an issue can wait.
yeah..the thing is i have a lot of options opened..but i just need to decide..
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jacketpotato
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Scottish law is not the same as English law. They are different legal systems. If you want to live/work in Scotland as a lawyer, then you are best off doing law at a Scottish university, though it is probably possible to do a conversion course if you wanted to go to uni in England and work in Scotland.
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Hooriya Qazal
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
Scottish law is not the same as English law. They are different legal systems. If you want to live/work in Scotland as a lawyer, then you are best off doing law at a Scottish university, though it is probably possible to do a conversion course if you wanted to go to uni in England and work in Scotland.
no i dont intend to practise law in Scottland..but what if i want to practise it in Ireland (Mullingar)..still a difference??.
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rkd
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(Original post by Hooriya Qazal)
no i dont intend to practise law in Scottland..but what if i want to practise it in Ireland (Mullingar)..still a difference??.
Mullingar is in the Republic of Ireland, so yes - it's an entirely different country with different laws and processes.
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jacketpotato
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Northern Ireland uses English law, but the rest of Ireland has different laws.
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rkd
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
Northern Ireland uses English law, but the rest of Ireland has different laws.
Even in NI the laws are slightly different - the Abortion Act doesn't apply there, for one.
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