Deciding what type of legal profession you want to pursue can be very challenging especially if you are to choose between being a Solicitor or a Barrister.
But what would you rather become, a Solicitor or a Barrister? Indeed, the distinction between a Solicitor and a Barrister is increasingly becoming blurred further making it difficult to make a specific decision. As such, one needs to understand what each profession entails before making any decision on your future.
So, who is a Solicitor? A Solicitor can be described as a legal expert who is responsible for the provision of appropriate legal counsel and support. As a Solicitor, you will majorly work in a law firm rather than appear in courtrooms and provide legal advice to lay clients.
A brief overview of the legal responsibilities of a Solicitor is described subsequently.
In essence, Solicitors are tasked with all the paperwork and communication at a law firm. They are required to accurately document all the clients”legal questions and advise them based on the case. The reports prepared by the Solicitors in a particular instance are used in courts to make informed judgments.
Therefore, as a Solicitor, you will be tasked with negotiating with clients and other parties to amicably solve a case. The Solicitor must aggregate relevant evidence, oversee the execution of agreements between customers and coordinate all activities about a case.
Significantly, a Solicitor does not have to appear in Court as an advocate unless otherwise. Instead, a Solicitor advises on the steps a client will take to manage a case successfully. In the unlikely event that a case is deemed complex, a Solicitor may refer the case to other legal specialists such as a Barrister to represent a client in Court.
How do qualify to be a Solicitor?
An undergraduate degree and law school are standard requirements if you want to become a successful Solicitor. Subsequently, a two-year practical training contract with a reputable firm of Solicitors with further enhance your qualifications.
After completing the two-year training contract with the firm, an individual is now eligible to practice as a Solicitor and obtains a practicing certificate.
A barrister is a law professional involved in courtroom advocacy and litigations among other common law jurisdictions.
Do you want to continuously stride into courtrooms, dealing with tense cases and intense cross-examinations? The professional life of a Barrister is not as glamorous as they look in those fly wigs and robes.
In essence, a Barrister appears in courts to represent clients and offer personalized legal counsels. Unlike other legal professions, being a Barrister further implies that an individual must display the requisite skills and precision to make profound legal arguments.
A successful Barrister has to possess comprehensive knowledge of the litigation processes and be able to argue clearly and persuasively. Moreover, understanding the clients”legal instructions and applying a thorough understanding of the legal knowledge to make legal sense defines a key responsibility of a Barrister.
To become a Barrister, law graduates must complete mandatory BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) before embarking on a year-long pupillage and tenancy.
A Barrister is entitled to the information on how the court systems work, dispute resolution, statutes, regulations, and cases, and the Constitutional law is handled and approached. When drafting an argument for any case, a Barrister must be well-versed with the clients”instructions and operations of the law.
As a Barrister, one must present viable facts of a case that describe the related legal dispute as the Courts cannot make any ruling unless an actual and feasible case is brought before it. The client will explain the problem to the Barrister who will analyse whether the arguments as presented violates or agrees to any constitutional principles, legislations or common law standards.
Some of the reasons why becoming a Barrister is less rewarding compared to being a solicitor are detailed below.
First, a career as a Barrister is rigorous and can also be intellectually frustrating. A Barrister is exposed to more intellectual pressure than a Solicitor, especially with the strict deadlines.
Furthermore, the large workload involved in the litigation processes implies that Barristers must be available on demand to attend to clients. The numerous court procedures and strict time frames also make a career as a Barrister frightening.
So, if you are looking for a less bumpy legal profession, being a Barrister is not a viable option.
A career as a Solicitor
Becoming a Solicitor can be exceptionally fulfilling both intellectually and financially among other exhilarating prospects. If you want to pursue a career that will expose you to unlimited opportunities and allow you to become more flexible, then become a Solicitor.
A Solicitor also has a relatively stable monthly income, unlike most Barristers who rely majorly on their reputations to attract clients. You will also enjoy paid leave among other packages enjoyed by the employed.
Ultimately, decisions on whether to become a Solicitor or a Barrister is a personal choice. Concentrate on academic excellence and develop the dedication and capacity to work in an involving environment if you want to have a successful career in law.