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English Legal System

English Legal System (4th edn)

Steve Wilson, Helen Rutherford, Tony Storey, Natalie Wortley, and Birju Kotecha
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date: 30 March 2023

p. 3299. The legal professionlocked

p. 3299. The legal professionlocked

  • Steve Wilson, Steve WilsonFormer Principal Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle
  • Helen Rutherford, Helen RutherfordSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle
  • Tony Storey, Tony StoreySenior Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle
  • Natalie WortleyNatalie WortleyAssociate Professor, Northumbria University, Newcastle
  •  and Birju KotechaBirju KotechaSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle


This chapter considers the roles of solicitors and barristers and other legal professionals such as Chartered Legal Executives and paralegals. It outlines the basic business models of legal practice, including alternative business structures (ABS) and the constraints on such organisations. It discusses the rules affecting practice as a solicitor or a barrister and outlines the regulatory organisations overseeing solicitors and barristers. It explains the routes to qualification for barristers: what pupillage is, the need for barristers to be members of an Inn of Court, and the route for solicitors via a training contract. The debate as to whether the two main branches of the legal profession should be fused into one is set out. The most recent reforms to legal education are signposted.

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