law revision on the legal profession

AS law revision cards on the legal profession

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how many solicitors are practising in England and Wales?

over 100, 000 controlled by their own professional body, law society

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solicitors training

what do you need to become a solicitor?

required to have a law degree, although if you have a degree in another subject, you can do an extra year's training in core legal subjectsand take the common professional examination.

the next stage is the one-year legal practice course- this is more practically based than previous society finals course

what does it include? training in skills such as:

client interviewing, negotiation, advocacy, drafting documents and legal research, business managment= keeping accounts

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solicitors training

why must students obtain a training contract?

because even when students have passedthe legal practice course, they are still not qualified as a solicitor

what do students do in the legal practice course?

work in a solicitors firm,crown prosecution service, legal department of a local authority,for 2 years getting practical experience

will the trainee be paid?

yes but not as the same rate as a solicitor and will be supervised by a solicitor

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solicitors training

what other course does the trainee have to complete whilst in training?

20 day professional skills course which builds on skills learnton theLPC (Legal practice course)

what happens at the end of the time?

trainee will be admitted as a solicitor by the law society and thier name will be added on the roll/list of solicitors

why do the solicitors have to attend continuing education courses after qualifying?

to keep their knowledge up to date

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solicitors training

what is the route for a non-graduate to qualify as a solicitor?

it is a longer route than the graduate route

students of 4 GCSEs go to institute of legal executives and do part1 and part 2 exams

work for 2 years in solicitors office

be admitted as a fellow of institute of legal executives- must be over 25 and worked in solicitors office for 5yrs

legal practice course(1year) or 2yr training period and pass final exams

qualified as a solicitor

open to mature students

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criticisms of the training process of solicitors

what are the criticisms of the training process?financial problem-£7000 per year for legal practice course and post graduate course

students from poor families are prevented from taking course and can't become solicitorseven if though they have a good law degree

students may take big loans, although they qualify have they start training period with a large debt-uni's have started to offer a 4yr course combining law degree & LPC £3000 a year

non-graduates only do 1 year formal law for common professional course- public not satisfies

over supply- students who've passed LPC don't do training course

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solicitor's work

where will the majority of qualified solicitor's work?work in a private practice in a solicitors's firm, however other careers available and some work in crown prosecution service, local authority, legal department. others will become legal advisers in commercial or industrial businesses

where do solicitors in private practice work?may work as sole practitioners or in partnerships

how many solicitor firms are there?

9000 firms, ranging from small high street practice to the big city firms, number of partners is unlimited. Biggest firms will have over hundred partners as well as employing assistant solicitors

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solicitors work

what type of work is done by solicitors?

type of work done depends on type of firm

small high street firm= general practice such as advising clients on consumer problems, housing and business matters, and family matters

a solicitor working in such a practice is likely to spend some of his time doing what?

interviewing clients in their office and negotiating on their behalf, and a large amount of time dealing with paperwork

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solicitors work

what does the large amount of time on paper work include?

writing letters on behalf of clients, drafting contracts, leases or other legal documents,

draw up wills and deal with conveyancing(legal side of buying selling, flats, houses etc)

what may solicitors do for clients?

act in court, put up clients case in front of court and question witnesses-advocacy

some solicitors will specialise in that and spend most of thier time in court

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solicitors work-specialising

solicitors may handle a very large variety of work, even in small firms and can what?

specialise into one feild (civil action) and not do criminal cases at all

even in within the firm the solicitors are likely to have what?

their feild of expertise,

in larger firms they will have greater degree of specialisation with department, dealing with one aspect of law

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specialising in solicitors work

large city firms usually concentrate on what?

business and commercial law

what are the amounts earned by solicitors?

vary on type of firm

top earners in big firms will earn £500,000 or more

end of scale some sole practitioners will earn less than £30,000

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solicitors conveyancing

what did the administration of justice act 1985allow?

people other than solicitors to become licensed conveyances- deal with legal side of trnsferring houses, building and land

what was the result of this?

increases competition in this area, solicitors had to reduce their fees, lost a large proportion of thier work

what did this lead to?

demand for wider rights of advocacy

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solicitors rights of advocacy

solicitors act as advocates in which courts?

in magistrates' and county courts, but their rights of audience usedis limited in higher courts

normally a solicitor could act as advocate in the crown court on what?

a committal for sentence, or an appeal from the magistrates' court or if them and another solicitor in the firm had been an advocate in the original case in the magistrates court

solicitors in the high court can deal with what?

with preliminary matters in preperation of the case, before 1986 they had no right of audience in high court

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solicitors rights of advocacy

solicitors in the high court can deal with what?

with preliminary matters in preperation of the case, before 1986 they had no right of audience in high court

in which case was the lack of audience emphasised in?

Abse V Smith, 2 members of parliament contested a libel action- came to an agreed settlement, but solicitor for 1 of them was refused permission by judge to read settlement in open court

after this decision lord chancellor & the senior judges in each division of the high court issued a practice direction allowing what?

solicitors to appear in the high court to make a statement in a case that has been settled

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certificate of advocacy (solicitors)

what can solicitors in private court applyfor?

certificate of advocacy where he is enabled to appear in higher court

when is the certificate granted?

when solicitor had experience of advocacy in magistrates' and county court, took a short training course and passed exams on rules of evidence

by the end of 2004 how many solicitors as advocates in higher courts?

2100, can also be appointed as queen's counsel and to higher judicial posts

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certificate of advocacy (solicitors)

the access to justice act automatically gives full rights of audience to who?

to all solicitors, new training requirements for solicitors to obtain these rights haven't been found yet

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multi-discipline partnerships (solicitors)

what does multi-discipline partnerships allow?

solicitors can form partnerships with other professions eg accountants- provided by courts and legal act

what does this give clients?

a wider range of expertise and advice in a 'one-stop shop'

law society and bar council prohibit creation of multi-discipline partnerships, so that, as yet, one stop shops are not allowed by the professional bodies that govern solicitors and barristers (likely to change very soon)

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complaints against solicitors

what are the complaints against solicitors?

they deal directly with client & enters contract with them- if client doesn't pay solicitor can sue them for fees- client can sue solicitor for breach of contract if they don't do their work

client can sue for negligence in and out of court work e.g

in griffiths V dawson- solicitor for plaintiff failed to make correct application in divorce proceedings against her husband , plaintiff lost fiancially-solicitors had to pay £21,000 as compensation

white V jones-father made a will where each of his daughters should recieve £9000, wrote letter to solicitor instructing them to draw will like this, recieved letter on 17th july 1986 didn't do anything about it. father died 14th sep 86, daughters didn't inherit money and sued solicitor for £9000 each they had lost

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negligent advocacy-complaints against solicitors

it used to be held if solicitor was presenting case in court couldn't be what?

sued for negligence but in Hall v Simons (2000), HOL decided that advocates can be liable for this negligence

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the legal service complaints commissioner(solicito

access to justice act gave lord chancellor the power to what?

appoint a legal service complaints commissioner(did this in 2003) due to problems that the law society handles complaints against solicitors

the legal service complaints commissioner has the right to what?

investigate handling of complaints and make recommendations about arrangements of dealing with complaints

can also impose targets for handling complaints, if these are not met professional body concerned is fired

who was the 2005 post held by?

same person who is the legal services ombudsman

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the legal services ombudsman(solicitors)

why was the legal ombudsman created?

to examine complaints against solicitors,barristers, licensed conveyancers and where professions' own regulatory body did not provide a satisfactory answer

under access to justice act he has the power to what?

power to order solicitor concerned to pay compensation or law society itself should compensate client

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how many barristers are there in independent practice in UK and what are they collectively known as?

14, 000 and collectively they are referred to as the bar and are controlled by own professional body- the general council of the bar

each barrister must be a member of what?

four inns of court (lincoln's inn, inner temple, middle temple and gray's inn)- all situated near royal courts of justice in london, must dine there 12 time before they are called to the bar

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why should trainee barristers meer senior barristers?

absorb traditions of profession, but hardly few barristers dine there so students are more likely to meet other students

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barristers training

entery to the bar is normally what based?

degree based, though there is a non-degree route for mature students, which a small number of students qualify - graduate students without law degree have to take common professional examination in core subjects- 1year to qualify as a barrister

why must students pass bar vocational course?

to emphasise practical skills of drafting pleadings for use in court, negotiation and advocacy

what other bodies have been validated to offer this course since sep 1997?

BBP law school, college of law in london & law schools in nottingham, northumbria, bristol and cardiff

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barristers training

why must students pass bar vocational course?

to emphasise practical skills of drafting pleadings for use in court, negotiation and advocacy

what other bodies have been validated to offer this course since sep 1997?

BBP law school, college of law in london & law schools in nottingham, northumbria, bristol and cardiff

what does this allow?

more students to obtain a place on the bar vocational course, but there is a problem as more people qualifying then work placements available

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barristers training

studentscould also attend in a vocational course in a different way which is what?

weekend residential course

which helps why?

students outside london on travelling costs to be lower

when are students qualified as barristers?

once they have been called to the Bar

what must still be completed?

practical stage of training-the pupillage

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barristers training- pupillage

what is the pupillage course?

once students have passed the vocational course there is 'on the job' training- trainee barrister becomes a pupil to qualified barrister

what does this involve?

'work shadowing' where the barrister can be with the same barrister for 12mnths or with 2 different pupil masters for 6mnths each

what do they have to take part in?

programme of continuing education organised by bar council

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barristers training- pupillage

after the first 6 months of pupillage barristers can what?

appear in courts and conduct their own cases

during pupillage what are trainee barristers paid?

half the amount that trainee solicitors are paid (small salary)

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barrister's work

where do barristers practice?

at the bar, self employed, work from a set of chambers where administrative exspenses are shared (chambers small comprising 15-20 barristers)

who will they employ?
a clerk as practice administrator-booking in cases and negotiating fees and have other staff support

newly qualified barristers have a difficulty of finding what?
a tenancy in chambers

what will the majority do?

a 6 mnth pupillage then squat as an unofficial tenant before obtaining a place, barristers can practice from home, rule on practicing from chambers has been relaxed

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barrister's work

despite the fact that a tenancy chamber is not essential what is it veiwed as if barristers don't work here?

that barristers don't make a successful practice

what do the majority of barristers concentrate on?

advocacy, but some specialise on tax and company law (rarely appear in court). barristers have rights of audience in UK

those who specialise in advocacy will still work on what?

paperwork, writing opinions in cases, give advices and drafting documents for use in court

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barrister's work-direct access

originally anybody who wished to instruct a barrister had to go where?

a solicitor who would brief the barrister, however this created unnecessary exspensefor clients-had to go to 2 lawyers instead of 1

as a result of this what did the bar first start doing?operated a system called bar direct where certain professionals such as accountants & surveyors could breif a barrister without going to a solicitor

then what was done in sep 2004?
bar direct granted access to anyone(business/individual)no longer necessary to go to solicitor

direct access not allowed in criminal cases or family work

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cab rank rule

what do barristers have to do in the cab rank rule?

cannot turn case down if it is an area of law they deal with and are free to take the case

when doesn't the cab rank rule apply?

when clients approach barrister direct

when can barristers turn down cases?

cases which require investigation or support services which they cannot provide

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employed barristers

the employed bar, including barristers who work for CrownProsecutionService can appear in which court?

in magistrates' court but used not to be able to conduct cases in crown court, high court or appelate court

these barristers would have done exactly the same as what?

the same training as independent bar, this was seen as restrictive

access to justice act allowed barristers working for CPS or other employers to what?

keep their rights of audience, allow barristers who work in solicitor's firm to keep right to present cases in court

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queen's counsel-barristers

when is it possible to apply to become a queen's counsel?

after atleast 10 years as a barrister/solicitor with an advocacy qualification

what percent of the bar are QC?

10% and are known as talking silk

what do the QC usually take on?

more complicated and high profile cases than junior barristers(barristers who aren't QC's yet) can command higher fees for recognised expertise- QC will have junior barrister to assist with the case

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queen's counsel-barristers

until 2004 QC was appointed by lord chancellor why was this a criticism?

because chancellor's criteria was too secretive for selecting QCs

what was the percentage of women QCs?

less than 10% and very few from ethnic minorities- effect on composition on judiciary as senior judges are chosen from ranks of Q'sC

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queen's counsel-barristers

what are the criticisms of QC?

don't necessarily offer a better service,

QC title is too generic,

does not tell purchasers about area of specialisation

system focuses on advocacy skills whereas users require range of skills such as legal advice and case management

no monitoring of quality or incentive to keep high standards once title has been conferred

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queen's counsel-barristers

what did the lord chancellor announce about the applications for 2003?

will be suspended whilst whole system is reviewed it was followed in 2003 by the issue of consultation paper 'future of QC'

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queen's counsel-barristers

bar wanted QC position tobe kept and bar council replied to consultation paper claiming that QC system serves public interest because itwhat?

enhances standing of UK legal services abroad (conspicuous brand)

publicly recognised mark of quality of advocacy

provides resources for public enquiries and promotes competition by supplementing market information

promotes diversity at increasing number of ethnic minority barristers approaching silk seniority.

(ethnic minority barristers pointed that the number were just about to increase)

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queen's counsel-barristers

in 2004 lord chancellor, law society and bar council agreed to what?

a new system of appointment(no longer done by lord chancellor) but made by a selection panel

who is the panel chaired by?

a non-lawyer and include other non-lawyer members

how is the selection done?

by interview and applicants can provide references (including from clients)

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complaints against barristers

what are the complaints of barristers?

barrister recieves brief from solicitor, they don't enter into a contract with client so can't sue if fees are not paid and can't be sued for breach of contract

can be sued for negligence
e.g Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell&Co- barrister had given wrong advice on who to sue, claimant was too late to start proceedings against the right person

Hall v Simons- law lords felt that in light of modern conditions it was no longer in the public interest that advocates should have immunity from being sued of negligence

if action against advocate was merely an exscuse to get whole issue litigated again, matter will almost be struck out as an abuse of process

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sennate of the inns of court (barristers)

what can the senate inns of court do?

discipline barristers if they fail to maintain standards set out in code of conduct

extreme cases, senate can disbar barrister from practising

lay complaints commision who investigate complaints

bar council has power to pay compensation for poor service

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the legal services ombudsman (barristers)

what does ombudsman do?

ivestigate complaints about all legal professions

there are comparatively few complaints against barrosters and ombudsman have found that bar council handles 90% of comlaints satisfactorily

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Smith E


A comprehensive set of slides, unusually presented in the form of questions and answers, with a good balance of solicitor and barrister material. This resource would work well for those student revising in pairs. The QC / public interest material is a minor part of some courses and is considered carefully.

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