What is the difference between a solicitor, a lawyer and a barrister?Pepperells
In general terms, a lawyer is a person who practices law, while solicitors and barristers are two different types of legal professionals who are qualified to practice law in different ways in certain countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and some other Commonwealth countries.
A solicitor is a legal professional who provides legal advice and assistance to clients, prepares legal documents, and represents clients in legal matters outside of court, such as property transactions, wills, and probate. Solicitors may also represent clients in some court proceedings, but they do not have the right of audience in higher courts, which means they cannot present cases in the Crown Court or the High Court.
On the other hand, a barrister is a legal professional who specialises in representing clients in court proceedings. They are independent lawyers who are instructed by solicitors or directly by clients to represent them in court. Barristers have the right of audience in all courts, which means they can present cases in the Crown Court, High Court, and the Court of Appeal, among others. Barristers often work from chambers, which are shared offices where they can consult with other barristers on legal matters.
In some countries, including the United States, the term “lawyer” is used as a catch-all term that refers to both solicitors and barristers. However, in the UK, Australia, and some other countries, the terms solicitor and barrister are used to differentiate between the two distinct types of legal professionals.
In conclusion, while the term “lawyer” is used broadly to describe legal professionals in many countries, in the UK, Australia, and other Commonwealth countries, solicitors and barristers are two distinct types of legal professionals who play different roles in the legal system. Solicitors provide legal advice and assistance to clients and represent them in legal matters outside of court, while barristers specialise in representing clients in court proceedings. Understanding the differences between solicitors and barristers can be helpful in navigating the legal system in these countries.
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