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Legal Profession in the UK - Essay Example

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Legal Profession in the UK

There has been no clear cut reason for the separation. The division appears to be more of prestige issue and professionally it is becoming an embarrassment to offer the excuse that the barrister performs a specialized or more professional role. Periodical studies highlight issues that throw the explanation of specialized roles of barristers in poor light (Cohen, Professor Harry; p11).
Simply put, solicitors form the backbone of U.K.'s legal system. They come in direct contact with the public who come to them for all legal advises from litigation to commercial work. Litigation forms just a small part of the solicitor's work that involves "commercial transactions, corporate matters, land, share and other property dealings" (Legal professionals: barristers, solicitors, executives; 1998).
In order to become a solicitor, it is necessary to take a one-year Legal Practice Course (LPC). There are over 30 institutions throughout England who offer the LPC. Thereafter, the law student has to obtain a two-years training contract with a solicitors' firm (The Legal Professions).
Professionally, a solicitor must be a member of the Law Society which oversees his training, practice and the Society also takes up complaints made against the solicitor (Legal professionals: barristers, solicitors, executives; 1998).
The role of the solicitor came ...
Professionally, a solicitor must be a member of the Law Society which oversees his training, practice and the Society also takes up complaints made against the solicitor (Legal professionals: barristers, solicitors, executives; 1998).
The role of the solicitor came into existence in 1823 when 'The London Law Institution' was formed by several prominent barristers. The name of this institution changed to 'The Law Society' in 1903. Women and ethnic minorities were not allowed to be members of the Law Society in those days. Now, half of the legal force in the U.K. comprises women (The Law Society, 2010).
The closeness of the solicitors to people and corporations and their distinct efficiencies has enabled them to grow and flourish as individuals or firms. Solicitors have the potential to grow vertically and horizontally.
Solicitors have their own firms, offices and clientele. They are the first point of contact in legal matters for the people at large in the U.K. They advise clients on how to file suits in litigations. They can negotiate out of court settlements on behalf of their clients. They have all the tools to carry out all aspects of legal work for their clients. Their powers have increased even more with their ability to represent their clients in the various courts (Types of Legal Career, 2010).
Barristers
A law graduate has to undergo "professional training through a Bar Vocational Course (BVC) and through pupilage with a qualified barrister" (Legal professionals: barristers, solicitors, executives; 1998).The barrister argues a case on behalf of the client in the courts. Mostly he takes cases in the higher courts, viz. Crown court and high courts. The solicitor is the link between the client and the ...Show more

Summary

The legal profession in the United Kingdom (U.K.) is flourishing except for one internal lacuna. The legal profession in the U.K. is divided into two branches of solicitors and barristers. The division happened sometime in the first half of the sixteenth century when the practice of "calling" a law student to the Bar of an Inn was established in 1547 (Cohen, Professor Harry; p5).
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