What kind of Lawyer do you want to be? Solicitor or Barrister
When considering a career in law, deciphering seemingly interchangeable terms such as attorney, solicitor, lawyer and barrister can be difficult. In the UK the terms Solicitor and Barrister are used rather than attorney. Although both Solicitors and Barristers are called lawyers, they are not interchangeable terms. If you are considering becoming a lawyer and going to law school, it’s important to consider what kind of lawyer you want to be.
The Role of a Solicitor
A solicitor is generally similar to an attorney in that they represent a client directly and speak on their behalf. Solicitors generally represent clients in lower criminal court cases and civil cases. They also deal with more general areas of law such as wills and property.
The solicitor is the first person the client converses with about their case or legal issue. They will meet with a client, discuss their needs, litigate and then represent the client from then onwards.
The Role of a Barrister
A barrister does not work directly with a client, but instead they act as an independent figure in the case. The solicitor will consult the barrister about their client and the barrister will then advise the solicitor.
A barrister differs from a solicitor in that they work on cases inside the courtroom, and present the case to the judge and jury, whereas the solicitor works with the client outside of the courtroom. A barrister will also be able to work in higher courts. Additionally, a barrister does not litigate on behalf of the client, except when specifically told to by the solicitor.
The role of a solicitor and a barrister does vary greatly, and this is something that must be considered before you begin your journey into the field of law. If you would like to work more directly with clients, then a career as a solicitor is ideal. However, if you want to spend more time in court presenting cases then a becoming a barrister is a better option.
Barrister or Solicitor, a career in law is a very rewarding one full of hard hork and great achievements. Whether you are in your undergraduate as a prelaw student or rethinking your career, law school and the career beyond is a challenge so you need to know what life as lawyer will be. You may even consider shadowing or trying to get a job in a law office before committing yourself.