Law | Unit 1 | Section B - The Legal Profession (AQA)

Barristers and Solicitors ...

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  • Created on: 01-05-12 13:39
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The legal profession
Barristers qualify through three stages:
1. the academic stage ­
This requires a degree, usually at least a 2:2 in law. A conversion course can be followed if the person
has a degree in another subject; for example the CPE (common professional examination). The Bar
Council sets out minimum requirements for a law degree, which includes minimum law content.
2. Vocational ­
This requires the trainee to join the Inns of Court:
Inner Temple
Lincolns Temple
Middle Temple
Gray's Inn
Which provide activities and support for the trainee. Trainees can also make use of the Inns' dining
facilities, libraries, common rooms and gardens.
It takes one year, and involves further professional examinations to ensure that the trainee has
sufficient skills and knowledge to go on to become a pupil.
3. Pupilage ­
This lasts 1 year and includes 6 months shadowing an experienced barrister and 6 months practicing.
During the second 6 months, the trainee is given a right to audience in court (with their supervisor's
permission) and can carry out legal services. It is very competitive to become a pupil therefore some
do a `mini pupilage' as a few weeks work experience. Having completed their degree and vocational
exams, the trainee will be called to the Bar, usually during their pupilage.
The Bar standards board was set up in 2006 and that set standards for entry qualifications, discipline
and minimum practice requirements for professional development, e.g. in the first 3 years, a
barrister must complete 45 hours of professional development to ensure that he/she keeps up to
date with the law and practice.
Role of barristers:

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Barristers are appointed as counsel by solicitors for advice and/or representation in court. They no
longer have a monopoly as audience in court, although it is still more common for a barrister to
appear in the higher courts.
Barristers are normally self employed individuals; they can't form partnerships but they can share
accommodation, books and equipment in chambers. Some barristers are employed by large
organisations to give specialist advice. Some also work in law centres.…read more

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1. The academic stage ­
This requires completing a degree ­ usually in law. If it is in a subject other than law then the CPE
conversion course will need to be taken.
2. Vocational training ­
This is done via the legal practice course. This provides professional training with the view of getting
a training contract with a solicitor.…read more

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Solicitors are expected to fulfil high standards of professionalism (they can advertise, but there are
restrictions on what they can say). Discipline is governed by the Solicitors Act 1974 and the Courts
and Legal Services Act 1990. They can be struck off (like doctors) for the role of misconduct.…read more


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