legal personnel


Barrister basic facts

  • 'the bar' conrolled by their own professional body, the general coucil of the bar
  • members of 1/4 inns. Lincolns Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Grays Inn
  • 12,700 self employed
  • 3,000 employed by organisations
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Barrister stage one training


  • if not in law then must past the GDL
  • GDL = Graduate Dipolma in Law
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Barrister stage two training

Bar Professional Training Course

  • case prep
  • opinion writing
  • legal research
  • drafting documents e.g. claims form
  • conference skills
  • negotiation
  • advococy
  • knowledge
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Barrister stage three training


  • 'on the job' training - work shadowing a barrister
  • for 12 months or 6 months shadowing 2.
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General role - Barristers

  • self employed but within a chamber 15-20 members
  • employ a clerk as admin
  • after 10 years can apply to Queens Counsel - harder cases, higher pay
  • advocacy - presenting cases in court
  • rights of audience, can speak in any court
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Direct Access

  • don't have to go through a solicitor first
  • not allowed in criminal or family cases
  • additional training required
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Who might employ Barristers?

  • crown prosecution service - law pay but regular pay
  • independent business
  • local government
  • civil services
  • chamber work - high pay but not reliable
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Barrister role change

  • can gain advocate right to higher cases after proving yourself in lower ones - get credited
  • has not come into force is just a sugesstion
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Solicitor basic facts

  • 136,000 in practice
  • 90,000 on private practice
  • controlled by the law society
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Solicitor stage one training


  • in law or if not sits GDL
  • GDL = graduate diploma in law
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Solicitor stage two training

Legal Practice Course

  • client interviews
  • negotiation
  • avdvocacy
  • drafting documenhts
  • legal research
  • business management overseen by Solicitors Regulatory Authority
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Solicitor stage three training

Authorised training

  • works in a firm for 2 years gaining practical experience
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Solicitor employment opportunites

  • private firm practice
  • legal advisor
  • crown prosecution service
  • local authority or government
  • private practice as a sole solicitor
  • general firm practice
  • ain to start as assistant or associate solicitor in hope to be a partner in firm
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Solicitor general role

  • advising clients
  • interviews
  • negotiating
  • writing letters
  • drafting contracts, leases and other legal documents
  • drawing up wills
  • conveyancing
  • advocacy
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solicitor specialisations

  • In one field
  • smaller firms are more general whereas larger firms have departments
  • cities tend to concentrate on business
  • solicitors breif barristers ready for the court
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Solicitor rold change


  • deal with legal side of buying and selling property

Rights of audience

  • court and legal services act 1990
  • can now apply for advocacy in higher courts. need magistrate and county court experience. then a short training course and exam
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Queen counsel basic facts

  • can apply after 10 years
  • 10% practising at the Bar are QC
  • known as 'taking silk'
  • take on more complicated and high profile cases
  • not in QC 'junior barrister' - ofen assist QC
  • charge higher fees
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QC appointment system until 2004

  • appointed by Lod Chancellor

criticised for...

  • criteria was too secretive
  • less than 10% of QC were women, plus only small number of ethnic minority

= had an effect on the composition of the judiciary

senior judges usually chosen from QC ranks. In 2004 Lord Chancellor, the Bar Council and the law society agreed a new system.

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QC appoitment system from 2006

done by the independent selection panel

  • application fee = £2,160 ... if successful ...
  • appoitment fee = £3,600

need references and an interview

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New QC system appointment

  • 2016 = 107 new QC members
  • 25/48 women applied and were successful
  • 9/32 ethnic minorities applied and were successful
  • 3/9 solicitors applied and were sucessful
  • 15% women and 6.5% ethnic minority
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Legal executives basic facts

  • work as a assistant in a solicitors firm
  • have to pass the Institute of Legal Executives Professional Qualification in law
  • specialise in one particular field
  • over 20,000 in practice
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Training Qualifications of legal executives

  • professional diploma in law and professioanl higher diploma in law
  • 5 years work in a firm or organisation ( CPS or gov.)=

= fellow of the chartered insitute of legal executives

  • can go on to be a solicitor after passing Law Societies Legal Practice Course
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Legal executive role

  • handle various legal aspects of property transfer
  • assist in the formation of a company
  • dreft wills
  • advise on matrimonial problems
  • advise clients accused of petty crime
  • have some rights of audience 
  • specialise in one area 
  • partners in firm are responsible of them
  • fee earners = charge an hourly rate direct to client, this contributes to the firm
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Legal executive advocacy

  • some rights of audience - not family/civil matters in county court
  • since 2008, extra course on advocacy and wider audience rights

3 practising certificates 

  • civil proceedings
  • criminal proceedings
  • family porceedings

make applications of bail or deal with youth/family at magistrates 

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Representative Body Barristers

Bar Council 

  • fufills a trade union function 
  • represents the bars view on issues such as legal aid payment rates to appropiate gov. department
  • promotes fair access of justice to all
  • use to be responsible for disciplining barristers who breahced Code Of Practice but was creating conflict so created the Bar Standards Board
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Regulatory Body Barristers

Bar Standards Board

  • sets training and entry requirements

If behaviour seriously breached then pass on to a Disciplinary Tribunal by independant Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service

  • reprimand Barrister
  • complete extra training
  • fine up to £50,000
  • 12 month suspension
  • disbar

If unhappy then go to the legal ombudsman 

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Representative Body Solicitors

Law Society

  • everyone is a member, almost 200 years running
  • speaks to gov. , parliament and public on legal issues in order to protect members
  • helps raise the profile of the profession through campaigns and networking, promotes the UK legal sector
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Regulatory Body Solicitors

Solicitors Regulatory Authority 

  • deals with complaints about misconduct

goes to a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal 

  • fine
  • reprimand
  • suspend
  • strike

If unhappy go to Legal Ombudsman 

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