Real AS Revision, Legal Profession

Revision notes on the legal profession for AQA AS Law.

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  • Created by: Emma Bert
  • Created on: 04-10-07 21:33
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The Legal Profession Revision:
Governed by the Law Society
1. Most solicitors provide general advice and do paper work.
Only solicitors used to be able to carry out litigation (taking
someone to court) under the Solicitors Act 1974, however the
Access to Justice Act 1999 now allows the Bar Council and
Institute of Legal Executives to grant litigation rights to their
2. Large work of many solicitors is liasing with barristers on
clients information.
3. Advocacy in the lower courts with limited right of audience in
the Crown Court and High Court. Soon solicitors will have full
rights of audience upon qualification (Access to Justice Act
1999) but not until new training requirements are brought in.
Solicitoradvocates have passed another exam and are
qualified to represent clients as an advocate in the higher
4. Can form partnerships with other solicitors in private practice
or can work for a local authority. They can work for the Crown
Prosecution Service, a government department or even as a
legal advisor in a big business.
Law Degree (or other degree and GDL), which is a conversion course
covering the core aspects of law. Pupils are required to study foundation
subjects and one other area in addition to this. They then have to go on a
years LPC, the vocational stage. Here they learn practical skills like
advocacy, interviewing and advising, writing, drafting and research,
accounting, taxation, trusts and tax planning. There are also core subjects
and elective subjects on the LPC. They then have to qualify as a solicitor by
obtaining a training contract, which is two years paid at the Law Society
minimum. This is work in a solicitor's office including a 20day Professional
Skills Course.
Held responsible for poor work:
People can complain to the Law Society who will arrange a Disciplinary
Tribunal or put the complaints to the Consumer Complaints Service.
which is run by the Law Society. Dissatisfied complaints can go to the Legal
Services Ombudsman. The Legal Services Ombudsman can recommend
that the C.C.S reconsider the complaint or the LSO can order the solicitor
or the Law Society to pay compensation to the client. If the Legal Services
Ombudsman doesn't do these things then the complaint can go to court and

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Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Their Duty:
Is contractual so they can be sued for breach of contract.
Keep clients business confidential: All conversations and
correspondence between a client and his solicitor are privileged and
cannot be disclosed in evidence without the clients consent.
Duty of care: can be liable for damages if fail to exercise care when
advising or acting for a client. As in Ross v.…read more

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The Legal Profession Revision:
Governed by the Bar Council
1. Solicitors have more direct contact with the clients, whereas
barristers often only become involved in a case in order to
provide any advocacy needed by the client. Barristers take
part in advocacy in all courts and have full rights in the
Superior courts. (Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeal
and House of Lords.)
2. Some paper work, they can have a major role in trial
preparation, including drafting pleadings and reviewing
evidence.…read more

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People can complain to the Bar Council who will put the complaint to The
Bar Standards Board. A complaints committee can require barristers to
reduce, refund or waive fees and order compensation up to £2,000.
Dissatisfied complaints can go to the Legal Services Ombudsman. The
Legal Services Ombudsman can recommend that the complaints
commissioner reconsider the complaint and/or order compensation to be
paid. (Access to Justice Act said that the LSO can now order the barrister
or Bar Council to pay compensation to the client.…read more

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Big Differences between the two:
Clients approach the solicitor directly and the solicitor chooses
whether or not to take the case whereas Barristers work on the `cab
rank' rule and have to take the next case.
Solicitors are predominantly general practitioners while barrister are
Barrister are primarily advocates and solicitors are primarily office
Different training to reflect different requirements in their jobs.
Barristers wear wigs and gowns in court, solicitor advocates wear
gowns only and legal executives wear ordinary clothes.…read more

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Review on Changes to the system:
In 2004, the government asked Sir David Clementi to review the organisation
of the legal profession and to recommend `a framework which will be
independent in representing the public and consumer interest,
comprehensive, accountable, consistent, flexible, transparent, and no
more restrictive or burdensome than is clearly justified.'
He identified 3 Key areas of concern:
1. The complexity of the existing regulatory framework for legal services
and its lack of regard for the consumer's interest.
2.…read more

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The Legal Profession Revision:
Legal Executives:
Governed by the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX)
Specialising in a particular area of law, their daytoday work is similar to
that of a solicitor:
handle various legal aspects of a property transfer
assist in the formation of a company,
be involved in actions in the High Court or county courts, draft wills,
advise clients accused of serious or petty crime or families with
matrimonial problems
many other matters affecting people in their domestic and business
affairs.…read more


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