Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Lawyer?

A lawyer is a member of the legal profession. Lawyers have completed law school, passed the bar exam and received a certificate to practice law from the bar association.

What Is a Barrister?

A barrister is a lawyer that represents clients in court and advises on specialist legal issues. They are self-employed and receive cases via solicitors. When they’re not in court, barristers work in offices shared by a group of barristers (called ‘chambers’) where they give advice and prepare arguments. Barristers work within various different areas of law.

What Is a Barrister’s Role in the Courtroom?

In the courtroom, as well as presenting their client’s case, a barrister may examine and cross-examine witnesses, give reasons that the court should support the case and negotiate settlements with the other sides.

What Is a Solicitor?

A solicitor is a qualified legal practitioner that prepares legal documentation and represents or defends their clients’ interests. Solicitors mostly meet with clients personally and deal with out-of-court matters. In the UK, the terms lawyer and solicitor are often used interchangeably.

What Is a Chartered Legal Executive?

A chartered legal executive is a legal practitioner that specialises in a single area of law. Their main duties include providing legal advice and preparing legal documents for their clients.

What Are Some of the Different Areas of the Law in Which Lawyers May Work?

Some of the specialist fields of law in which a lawyer may choose to work include corporate or commercial law, criminal law, employment law, family law, human rights and intellectual property.

What Skills Are Essential to Become a Lawyer?

Those interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession need to have excellent organisational skills, as it’s likely they will have to store and maintain large volumes of documents during various legal processes. Strong communication skills are also vital to effectively represent clients during court proceedings, while the ability to write well can help with the drafting of legal documents. Time management, problem solving and research skills are also important in the legal profession.

What Is a Legal Representative Team?

A legal representative team may comprise a barrister, solicitor, chartered legal executives and paralegals. An experienced team may make for increased efficiency in evidence collection, possibly providing a better outcome for the client.

Do Legal Practices Vary from Country to Country?

Legal practices differ from country to country. For example, in England lawyers are divided into barristers and solicitors, while in the US attorneys tend to specialise in limited areas of law, such as divorce, criminal and personal injury, although many work in a general practice.