Legal Education in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, legal education is divided between the standard legal system of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and that of Scotland, which uses a hybrid of common law and civil law.

The majority of the law students in England and Wales, wish to practice law as barrister or solicitor. Depending on your interest area, you need to follow the separate route to get the necessary qualification. But to start with the primary way, one needs to follow the legal path is to study for a qualifying undergraduate law course of 3-4 years.

Following on from this again you need to follow a route to be a Barrister after qualifying undergraduate law course:
– need to complete a Bar Professional Training Course
– apply for pupillage
– can efficiently work as a trainee barrister

Whereas, to become a solicitor, you need to follow the below-mentioned route on top of the qualifying undergraduate law course:
– need to complete the Legal Practice Course before applying to law firms
– can get a “training contract.

Difference between Barristers and Solicitors
Barristers are members of the Bar Council of England and Wales and have rights of audience in court. Whereas, Solicitors do not have the right of audience in court. Barristers are self-employed in that they operate in sets of ‘chambers’ but as such, are not employed by a law firm. On the other hand, solicitors do the legal research and can represent their clients in legal negotiations. If it is necessary to take action in court, then they pass the case over to a barrister. Client employs a solicitor first, and It is rare that a client will directly hire a barrister.

What Solicitors Do?
Solicitors provide legal services to individual as well as institutional clients across a wide range of civil, commercial and criminal law issues. Solicitors collaborate with the variety of legal and non-legal professionals in the course of their routine activities.

The subject matter of law is vast and complex, and therefore it’s the norm for solicitors to get specialized in a particular area of the legal profession to focus and build their expertise in that area. Depending on this solicitors can be broadly classified into two main categories:
(1) Commercial: concentrate on legal matters related to businesses corporate, competition, contract, commercial property, employment, transport, etc.
(2) Non-commercial: focus on issues falling outside of business domain like personal injury, family and tort law, motoring offenses where, where drink driving solicitor find defenses to drink driving, etc.

What When You Become A Solicitor?
– you will be holding initial discussions with clients to determine your firm can help them with their legal problem or not
– Following the initial discussion, you’ll be advising clients on further proceedings, like time required and the costs likely to incur.
– Next, comes the preparation of case a necessary application to the appropriate judicial forums.
– Briefing to barristers or advocates on cases where representation before the courts is required.