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Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter explains what the legal professions are, what they do, and how to qualify as a member of the professions. It examines the rules governing practice as a member of the professions and, in particular, the issue of ethical behaviour. There are three principal branches to the legal profession in England and Wales. The first consists of barristers, the second of solicitors, and the third of chartered legal executives. The routes to qualification vary for each of the branches, but broadly speaking all involve an academic stage and work-based training. When considering the current routes to qualification for each of the branches of the profession, the chapter also explores potential qualification reforms, in particular those proposed by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority with the introduction of the Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam (SQE). Diversity within each branch of the profession is also explored in relation to gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter explains what the legal professions are, what they do, and how to qualify as a member of the professions. It examines the rules governing practice as a member of the professions and, in particular, the issue of ethical behaviour. There are three principal branches to the legal profession in England and Wales. The first consists of barristers, the second of solicitors, and the third of chartered legal executives. The routes to qualification vary for each of the branches, but broadly speaking all involve an academic stage and work-based training. When considering the current routes to qualification for each of the branches of the profession, the chapter also explores potential qualification reforms, in particular those proposed by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority with the introduction of the Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam (SQE). Diversity within each branch of the profession is also explored in relation to gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Chapter

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter examines the development of the legal profession in the UK. It discusses lawyers as professionals; the importance of legal services and their regulation; the legal profession in England & Wales; the role of ethics in lawyers’ work and the changing face of the legal profession within society.

Chapter

This chapter considers who is allowed to become a solicitor or a barrister. It also considers what training they must have completed. The chapter goes on to examine the nature of the ethical guidance issued by the profession. There is discussion of the different ways in which the legal professions are regulated. The work of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB) is explained.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the final stages of professional training necessary for students who wish to practise in one of the two traditional branches of the legal profession: the training contract for solicitors and pupillage for barristers. It offers guidance on the various specific areas of legal practice before explaining the structure, content, and purpose of training contracts and pupillage. The chapter concludes with a discussion on finding funding.

Chapter

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.

Book

Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski

Employability Skills for Law Students is designed to help you: identify the academic, practical and transferable skills that can be developed whilst studying for a law degree; recognise the value of those skills to employers (within both law and non-law professions); identify any gaps in your skills portfolio; maximise opportunities to develop new skills through participation in a range of activities; effectively demonstrate your skills to potential employers; and improve your employability prospects on graduation from university. It is the only book specifically designed to support law students in developing the employability skills required to pursue their chosen career on graduation. A strong emphasis is placed upon ‘learning by doing’, with each chapter including practical activities designed to give students the opportunity to practise skills and encourage thought and reflection on personal development. Whether you are in your first year or your last, this book will ensure you make the most of your time at university, developing skills inside and outside the lecture theatre so that you are in the best possible position to pursue your chosen career on graduation—as a solicitor, barrister, or a completely different profession. An interactive Online Resource Centre provides a range of practical activities designed to give you opportunities to practise and receive feedback upon the skills you are developing.

Chapter

This chapter first considers one of the key questions that all law students must answer: to practise or not to practise? It then gives an overview of the two traditional branches of the legal profession—solicitors and barristers—before explaining the stages in qualification, the employability skills that are essential in each, and some insight into the likely competition and costs involved. The chapter introduces some of the alternative possible career pathways that can be pursued with a law degree on the strength of transferable employability skills; explains the idea of personal development planning, which gives students a framework within which to build an action plan of activities to enhance their employability skills portfolio; and provides an initial timetable of actions that will support students in achieving each step in the journey towards employment.

Chapter

This chapter considers the roles of solicitors and barristers in the English legal system. It outlines the basic business models of legal practice, including alternative business structures, and the constraints on such organisations. It discusses the rules affecting practice as a solicitor or a barrister, and other legal professionals, and discusses the regulatory organisations overseeing their work. The debate as to whether the two main branches of the legal profession should be fused into one is set out. The discussion and debate about changes to legal education are signposted, including the major reforms to the qualification requirements for solicitors and barristers.

Chapter

This chapter provides an overview of the roles that different types of legal practitioners traditionally take in the litigation process. In England and Wales, it remains the norm that a client will initially approach a solicitor, who may then brief a barrister to provide specialist advice, to carry out key functions such as drafting statements of case, and to appear in court if litigation proceeds. The chapter goes on to discuss the main provisions in the codes of conduct that are relevant to litigation; professional privilege and confidentiality; professional negligence; options for clients dissatisfied with the standard of work done by a lawyer; the use of alternative business structures (ABS) for the delivery of legal services; and the regulation of an ABS.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the many different career options open to law graduates in light of the skills and attributes cultivated by legal study. It discusses traditional legal pathways (solicitor, barrister, legal executive) and other career pathways both within the law and those that do not involve the law directly but welcome graduates with a law degree because of the skills they offer. The chapter also looks at the opportunities for, and merits of, further postgraduate study. The chapter highlights the breadth of possibilities open to the successful law student, and highlights things to consider when contemplating different career pathways and options.

Chapter

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. This chapter looks at the multitude of different professionals, both legal and lay, in the English legal system (ELS). Legal professionals, often referred to as ‘lawyers’, includes such individuals as solicitors, barristers, legal executives, and paralegals. Barristers and solicitors were traditionally two very distinct roles in the ELS. Nowadays, a fusion of roles has occurred, meaning that the two professions are not as different as they formerly were. Meanwhile, judiciary refers to the various judicial ‘offices’ and ‘office-holders’. Law officers are the individuals responsible for the operation of the ELS and include such persons as the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. Court staff are the individuals involved in the day-to-day running of the ELS and include such persons as clerks, ushers, legal advisers, and many other persons. Finally, laypersons refer to a special class of individuals—namely magistrates and juries responsible for trying cases in the Crown Court and magistrates’ court respectively.

Chapter

This chapter examines the circumstances in which a barrister and solicitor can be sued in negligence or for breach of contract. Clients can sue a solicitor based on the law of contract, the law of fiduciary duty, and the law of negligence. In general, a client is going to face an uphill battle in suing a solicitor or barrister. In relation to a breach of contract, it can be difficult to establish the breach of reasonable skill. In relation to negligence, proving breach of a duty of care and the causation of a loss is problematic.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the role both of those professionally qualified to practise law—solicitors and barristers—and of other groups who provide legal/advice services but who do not have professional legal qualifications. It examines how regulation of legal services providers is changing and the objects of regulations. It notes the development of new forms of legal practice. It also considers how the use of artificial intelligence may change the ways in which legal services are delivered. The chapter reflects on the adjudicators and other dispute resolvers who play a significant role in the working of the legal system, and on the contribution to legal education made by law teachers, in universities and in private colleges, to the formation of the legal profession and to the practice of the law.

Chapter

This chapter examines the administration of the law under the English legal system. It aims to clarify how, and by whom, the law is administered. It identifies the structure, jurisdiction, and composition of the various courts, and also discusses how the tribunals system fits into the administration of the law. In addition, the chapter looks at less formal approaches to dispute resolution, such as alternative dispute resolution. This chapter describes the duties and responsibilities of the different members of the legal profession including the judiciary, the law officers, barristers, solicitors, legal executives, and paralegals. It also considers the appellate procedure.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the role both of those professionally qualified to practise law—solicitors and barristers—and of other groups who provide legal/advice services but who do not have professional legal qualifications. It examines how regulation of legal services providers is changing and the objects of regulations. It notes the development of new forms of legal practice. It also considers how the use of artificial intelligence may change the ways in which legal services are delivered. The chapter reflects on the adjudicators and other dispute resolvers who play a significant role in the working of the legal system, and on the contribution to legal education made by law teachers, in universities and in private colleges, to the formation of the legal profession and to the practice of the law.