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Encyclopedia > Solicitor

A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and in a few regions of the United States. In most common law countries the legal profession is split between solicitors who represent and advise clients, and a barrister who is retained by a solicitor to advocate in a legal hearing or to render a legal opinion. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For the fish called lawyer, see Burbot. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... The term jurisdiction has more than one sense. ... A lawyer is a person licensed by the state to advise clients in legal matters and represent them in courts of law and in other forms of dispute resolution. ... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ...


However in most Australian States (the formal exception being Queensland, but in practice also New South Wales and Victoria), as well as in Canada, the legal profession is "fused" which means that a lawyer can be a solicitor, barrister, and proctor. Slogan or Nickname: Sunshine State, Smart State Motto(s): Audax at Fidelis (Bold but Faithful) Other Australian states and territories Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Anna Bligh (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $158,506 (3rd... A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and in a few regions of the United States. ... Fused profession is a term relating to jurisdictions where the legal profession is not divided between barristers and solicitors. ... For other uses, see Proctor (disambiguation). ...


Where the legal profession is not "fused" in cases where a trial is necessary a client must retain a solicitor, who will advise him or her and then may deliver a brief to a barrister to act on the solicitor's instructions. Fused profession is a term relating to jurisdictions where the legal profession is not divided between barristers and solicitors. ...

Contents

England and Wales

Before the unification of the Supreme Court in 1873, solicitors practised in the courts of chancery, while attorneys and proctors practised in the common law and ecclesiastical courts respectively. Schematic of court system for England and Wales The Courts of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they are constituted and governed by the Law of England and Wales and are subordinate to the Parliament of the... 1873 (MDCCCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... One of the courts of equity in England and Wales. ... An attorney is someone who represents someone else in the transaction of business: For attorney-at-law, see lawyer, solicitor, barrister or civil law notary. ... For other uses, see Proctor (disambiguation). ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... An ecclesiastical court (also called Court Christian) is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. ...


In the English legal system solicitors have traditionally dealt with any legal matter apart from conducting proceedings in courts (advocacy), except minor criminal cases tried in Magistrates' Courts and small value civil cases tried in county courts, which are almost always handled by solicitors. The other branch of the English legal profession, a barrister, has traditionally carried out the advocacy functions. Barristers would not deal with the public direct. This is no longer the case, as solicitor advocates may act at certain higher levels of court, which were previously barred to them. Advocacy is the act of arguing on behalf of a particular issue, idea or person. ... Bedford Magistrates Court A Magistrates Court or court of petty sessions, formerly known as a police court, is the lowest kind of court in England and Wales and many other common law jurisdictions. ... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... A Solicitor Advocate is a solicitor who is qualified to represent clients as an advocate in the higher courts in England and Wales or Scotland. ...


Regulation

Solicitors in England and Wales are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, an independently administered branch of the Law Society of England and Wales and, in order to become a solicitor, must have passed the Academic and Vocational stages of training. The Solicitors Regulation Authority was launched on January 29 2007. ... The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that regulates and represents the solicitors profession in England and Wales. ...


Moreover, solicitors must pay the Law Society of England and Wales a practising fee each year in order to keep practising. If they do not do this they are 'non-practising' and may not give legal advice to the public (although they can start practising again at will, unlike those who have been struck off the roll). The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that represents the solicitors profession in England and Wales. ... Struck off means to be removed, usually from a position of power or responsibility or stature. ...


Training and qualifications

The most common methods of qualification are a normal undergraduate law degree, or a degree in any subject followed by a one year course formerly called the Common Professional Exam and recently renamed the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Other routes, for example, spending time as a clerk to magistrates, or passing exams set by the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) are possible. Up to this point a barrister and solicitor have the same education. // Origins The Institute of Legal Executives was established in 1963 with the help of the Law Society to provide a more formal process for training Solicitors Clerks. Traditionally Solicitors Clerks were not formally trained in law but through experience had built up a working knowledge of specific aspects and could... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ...


Thereafter they split. Solicitors study a one year course called the Legal Practice Course and then must undertake two years apprenticeship with a solicitor, called the training contract (but still widely referred to as 'articles' as in 'articled clerk' by older members of the profession). Once that is complete, the student becomes a solicitor and is 'admitted to the roll'. The 'roll' is a list of people qualified to be a solicitor and is kept on behalf of the 'Master of the Rolls' whose more important job is that he is the head of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Solicitors who are being disciplined by the Law Society can be suspended from the roll under Section 12 of the Solicitors Act 1974 or even struck off, which prevents them acting as a solicitor. It is not uncommon for students to take as many as 15 different examinations during the Legal Practice Course. ... A training contract is a period of practical training, tailor made for graduates who wish to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. ... An articled clerk is an apprentice in a professional firm in the United Kingdom and former British dependencies. ... The Master of the Rolls is the third most senior judge of England, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain traditionally being first and the Lord Chief Justice second. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... The Solicitors Act 1974 is the Act of parliament in the United Kingdom governing the regulation and responsibilities of practicing of solicitors, as well as the companies for whom they work. ...


A small proportion of solicitors in England and Wales are licenced by the Archbishop of Canterbury (originally on behalf of the Pope) after further study and examination to practice as Notaries Public. An alternative route to this work, in and around the City of London, is through the Worshipful Company of Scriveners. A US Embossed Notary Seal. ... The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. ...


Recent developments

In England and Wales the strict separation between the duties of solicitor and barrister has been partially broken down and solicitors frequently appear not only in the lower courts but (subject to passing a test) increasingly in the higher courts too (such as the High Court of Justice of England and Wales and the Court of Appeal). Firms of solicitors now employ their own barristers and solicitor-advocates to do the work, taking it away from the private groups 'sets' or 'chambers' of barristers who formerly did the work. Barristers in turn can now be directly instructed by certain organisations such as trade unions, accountants and similar groups. Additionally barristers who have done the Bar Council's 'Public Access' course can take instructions directly from members of the public although there are some limitations on the type of work that can be done this way: for example they cannot take control of the conduct of litigation nor can they do matrimonial matters. Where such limitations occur the barrister should advise the persons to see a solicitor. Her Majestys High Court of Justice (known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ...


This breakdown is expected to go further in the next few years, with the government pressing the Bar Council to allow barristers to deal directly with the public. Despite the numerous anecdotal claims that solicitors are increasingly taking advantage of increased rights of audience, this does not seem to be reflected in practice, with both arms of the legal profession thriving in recent years. A bar council in a Commonwealth country is a professional body that regulates the profession of barristers together with the Inns of Court. ...


Regulation of both Barristers and Solicitors is being reviewed by David Clementi on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. His final recommendations are expected to include a more unified regulatory system, and new structures for cross-profession work. Sir David Clementi is Chairman of Prudential plc, one of Britains largest insurance companies. ... The Justice Minister is a cabinet position in a government. ...


Traditionally, firms of solicitors can only be owned by solicitors. The government is considering allowing anyone to be able to have a share in the ownership and control of a law firm. This has led to fears that the professional duty a solicitor owes of confidentiality to their client will be threatened. The fear is that a solicitor will be required to share confidential information with the organisations and individuals who acquire control of their firm even though those organisations and individuals will not be bound by the professional duty of confidentiality and may use their knowledge of the client's confidential affairs to their own advantage. This is often referred to as "Tesco law" as legal services would be offered directly to the public by solicitors owned and controlled by non-solicitors, and it is companies such as the major UK supermarkets (the foremost in this area being Tesco itself) that have expressed a particular interest in owning solicitors to complement their moves into the already deregulated financial services markets. Confidentiality has been defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access and is one of the cornerstones of Information security. ... UK A solicitor in the UK is obliged to respect the confidentiality of their clients affairs. ... For other uses, see Tesco (disambiguation). ...


Scotland

Scotland's legal system is separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland the legal profession is divided between solicitors and advocates, the distinction being similar to that between solicitors and barristers in England and Wales, though Scottish solicitors have traditionally represented their clients in the lower courts (such as the Sheriff Court and the District Court), only being excluded from the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session (unless they qualify as solicitor advocates). Under section 24 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Scotland Act 1990 suitably qualified solicitors were for the first time in Scotland granted rights of audience in the Supreme Courts in Scotland as well as in the House of Lords and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. This article is about the country. ... Northern Ireland (Irish: , Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a constituent country of the United Kingdom lying in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km², about a sixth of the islands total area). ... An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another, especially in a legal context. ... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... The Sheriff Courts are the local Court system in Scotland. ... District courts are a category of courts which exists in several nations. ... Seal of the High Court of Justiciary © Crown Copyright The High Court of Justiciary is Scotlands supreme criminal court. ... The Court of Session is the supreme civil court in Scotland. ... A Solicitor Advocate is a solicitor who is qualified to represent clients as an advocate in the higher courts in England and Wales or Scotland. ...


In Scotland, Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland, who require prospective solicitors to pass exams in a curriculum set by the Society. Ordinarily this is done by obtaining an LLB in Scots law at a university approved by the Society, though it is also possible to sit the Society's own exams. Prospective solicitors are then required to take the Diploma in Legal Practice (a one year course provided by several Scottish universities) and then undertake a two year traineeship with a law firm, before they can qualify as a solicitor. As the Faculty of Advocates used to require a M.A. degree of its candidates, it used to be common to take a five year combined MA LLB curriculum at the Scottish universities. Those intending to become solicitors who studied law as a first degree were at one time awarded a BL degree. The Law Society of Scotland is the professional governing body for Scottish solicitors, based in Edinburgh. ... The degree of Bachelor of Laws is the principal academic degree in law in most common law countries. ... Scots law is a unique legal system with an ancient basis in Roman law. ... The Faculty of Advocates is the collective term by which what in England are called barristers are known in Scotland. ... A Master of Arts in Scotland is an academic degree in humanities and social sciences awarded by the four ancient universities of Scotland, the University of Dundee and also Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. ...


Solicitors are in most areas organised into a local Faculty of Procurators or Faculty of Procurators and Solicitors. Glasgow has a Royal Faculty of Procurators. In Edinburgh, depending on the firm a trainee joins, s/he may become a Writer to the Signet (W.S.) or a Solicitor to the Supreme Court (S.S.C.). In Aberdeen, the solicitors belong to a Society of Advocates and a member would be called formally an "Advocate in Aberdeen," or colloquially an "advocate" simpliciter. In the 18th century, Dr Samuel Johnson marked the change in designation of the lawyers in Glasgow with a jibe about their moving from "procuring" to "soliciting." The Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet has a very long history and is the oldest legal society in the world. ... Samuel Johnson circa 1772, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. ...


Republic of Ireland

Solicitors in the Republic of Ireland are represented and regulated by the Law Society of Ireland. It was formally established by Royal Charter in 1852. The legislative basis for its current role is set out in the Solicitors Acts 1954 - 2002. The Law Society of Ireland (in Irish: Dlí-Chumann na hÉireann) is the educational, representative and regulatory body of the solicitors profession in the Republic of Ireland. ...



Irish Independence in 1921 was marked more by continuity with the British legal system than with change. The legal profession has remained divided between barristers (or abhcóidí in Irish) and solicitors (or aturnaethe in Irish). However, there has been some blurring of their respective roles over the years. Notably, under Section 17 of the Courts Act 1971, solicitors were granted a right of audience in all courts, although in practice relatively few solicitors act as advocates for their clients in the Superior Courts. British barristers wearing traditional dress. ...


Australia

Regulation of the profession in Australia varies from state to state. Admission to practice is state-based, although mutual recognition enables a practitioner admitted in any state to practice nationally. In some States, the distinction between barristers and solicitors is nominal and reflects individual preferences and membership of professional associations. In others, at least in a practical sense, the distinction is clear from the type of practice a practitioner has, even if they are entitled to practice in the other branch of the profession. Thus, while members of the bar practice only as barristers, a practitioner is admitted as a "barrister and solicitor". Thus, every solicitor is also a barrister, although many prefer to brief counsel rather than appear in courts or tribunals themselves. The trend to a fused profession is similar to that outlined in England and Wales above. Fused profession is a term relating to jurisdictions where the legal profession is not divided between barristers and solicitors. ...


However, the states of New South Wales and Queensland maintain strongly independent Bars, call to which requires extra training. In those states, solicitors' rights of audience before superior courts are theoretically unlimited, but infrequently exercised in practice. Victoria also has an independent bar but solicitors have full right of audience before all courts.


Canada

In the English speaking jurisdictions of Canada (and New Brunswick, a bilingual jurisdiction) the profession is being fused, all lawyers are called to the bar and admitted as solicitors. While many barristers and solicitors choose to practise within the scope of one or the other traditional disciplines, many others choose a cross-discipline practice.


Amongst lawyers in English speaking Canada, it is common to refer to one another as solicitors, whether practising in a solicitor's or barrister's role. Amongst members of the general public, however, the term "solicitor" has a similar connotation to that in use in the United States (see below).


United States

A "Please Do Not Contribute To Solicitors" sign prompted by the Pruneyard free speech case
A "Please Do Not Contribute To Solicitors" sign prompted by the Pruneyard free speech case
A "No Soliciting" sign at a freeway rest area
A "No Soliciting" sign at a freeway rest area

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x642, 183 KB) Summary A Please Do Not Contribute To Solicitors sign at the Wal-Mart store in Mountain View, California (near El Camino Real (California)). Signs like these are often seen at large shopping centers in the U.S. state... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x642, 183 KB) Summary A Please Do Not Contribute To Solicitors sign at the Wal-Mart store in Mountain View, California (near El Camino Real (California)). Signs like these are often seen at large shopping centers in the U.S. state... Typical roadside sign The PruneYard Shopping Center is a sprawling 250,000 square foot (23,000 m²) shopping center located in Campbell, California at the intersection of Campbell Ave. ... Freedom of speech is the right to freely say what one pleases, as well as the related right to hear what others have stated. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) in Berkeley, California: a typical American freeway (MUTCD definition) A freeway, also known as a highway, superhighway, autoroute, autobahn, autostrada, dual carriageway, expressway, Autosnelweg or motorway, depending on the country of discussion, is a type of road designed for safer high-speed operation of motor vehicles... Rest stop redirects here. ...

Government usage

In some U.S. states, a "solicitor" may be the chief legal officer of a city or town — for example, a "town solicitor," — although cities in other states simply have "city attorneys." Some counties and states as well as the federal government have an official known as a Solicitor General who is actually more of an advocate than a solicitor in the traditional British sense. In South Carolina the term "solicitor" applies to a circuit prosecutor. In Georgia a county solicitor general is responsible for prosecution of misdemeanor offenses. Historically, Georgia solicitors general were state prosecutors. Today, that office is known as district attorney. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... This article describes the government of the United States. ... The United States Solicitor General is the individual appointed to argue for the Government of the United States in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, when the government is party to a case. ... An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another, especially in a legal context. ... Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude 78° 32′ W to 83... The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries adopting the common law adversarial system or the civil law inquisitorial system. ...


Non-government usage

In American and Canadian English, the term often refers to "a person who seeks business or contributions from others; an advertiser or promoter" (according to Black's Law Dictionary, 7th edition). This is the meaning intended in the ubiquitous signs on business premises that say "No Soliciting" or "Please Do Not Contribute To Solicitors." The equivalent British English term would be "tout" and the Australian English term "hawker". Canadian English (CaE) is the variety of North American English used in Canada. ... Blacks Law Dictionary, 7th edition Blacks Law Dictionary is the definitive law dictionary for the law of the United States. ... British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ... Tout is a semi-colloquial, mainly British term for a person who earns money by reselling tickets to popular events. ... Australian English (AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. ... Hawker can refer to several things: Business Hawker Aviation (later Hawker-Siddeley) was a British aircraft manufacturing company, manufacturer of the Fury, Hurricane, Hunter and Harrier. ...


In the UK, 'solicit' is used in the phrase "solicit for prostitution" - a criminal offence - but someone who does this is not usually referred to as a solicitor since the word is generally understood to refer to lawyers.


See also

// Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... Legal Executives are qualified lawyers in England and Wales who specialise in a particular area of law. ... LEXIST: a professional who studies, develops, applies or otherwise deals with the law and holds a recognised qualification in law. ... A Licensed Conveyancer is a lawyer in the United Kingdom or Australia who has been trained to deal with all aspects of property law. ... The Solicitor General is a cabinet position in several countries, dealing with legal affairs. ...

External links

  • The Law Society of England and Wales Directory Of Solicitors
  • The Irish Law Society Directory Of Solicitors
  • Law Society of Scotland's Directory Of Solicitors
  • Law Society of Hong Kong
  • TraineeSolicitor.co.uk

  Results from FactBites:
 
Solicitor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1380 words)
Solicitors in England and Wales are regulated by the Law Society of England and Wales (which wears the hat of both regulator and union) and in order to become a solicitor must have had a qualifying legal education.
Solicitors study a one year course called the Legal Practice Course and then must undertake two years apprenticeship with a solicitor, called the training contract (but still widely referred to as 'articles' as in 'articled clerk' by older members of the profession).
A solicitor will be required to share confidential information with the organisations and individuals who acquire control of their firm even though those organisations and individuals will not be bound by the professional duty of confidentiality and may use their knowledge of the client's confidential affairs to their own advantage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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