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THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN ENGLAND. Unit 6. What can lawyers do for their clients ?. Preview. Branches of the legal profession Solicitors : type of work Solicitors ’ professional organisation Solicitors ’ training Barristers : type of work Barristers ’ professional organisation

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THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN ENGLAND


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    1. THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN ENGLAND Unit 6

    2. Whatcanlawyers do for theirclients?

    3. Preview • Branchesofthe legal profession • Solicitors: typeof work • Solicitors’ professional organisation • Solicitors’ training • Barristers: typeof work • Barristers’ professional organisation • Barristers’ training • Advantagesanddisadvantagesof a split profession • Historicaloverview • Legal terms

    4. Branches of the legal profession • Solicitors • Barristers

    5. Solicitors • Provide members of the public – their clients – with skilled advice and representation in all legal matters

    6. Instructions • Anyone who needs legal advice or have legal work done will go to a solicitor’s office and tell them what he requires – this is called giving a solicitor instructions

    7. Solicitors • Work on their own, or as partners with other solicitors • A solicitor’s practice: firm of solicitors

    8. Type of work • Litigation: preparing cases to be tried in the civil or criminal courts • Commercial: legal advice in the field of business, drawing up contracts • Conveyancing: making all the legal arrangements for the buying and selling of land, houses, etc.

    9. Type of work • Employment: assistingemployeesandemployersincasesinvolvingallegationsofunfairdismissal, or claims for redundancypayments • Family: divorce, child care

    10. Type of work • Immigration: representing foreign nationals, or those without any national status, who are claiming asylum, or permission to stay or work • Licencing: arranging to apply for licences • Probate: making wills for clients and making sure their wishes are carried out

    11. Type of work • At one time, most solicitors – general practitioners who would refer to experts in particular fields of law • ‘family solicitor’ • Today: many solicitors specialise in only one or two fields of law

    12. Type of work • Legal advisors • Also: provide detailed records of a case

    13. Type of work • The public comes into contact with solicitors more than any other people who work in the law; this gives them a unique insight into how decisions of the courts are made

    14. Legal advice • Solicitors must be able to explain what the law is and how a particular set of circumstances is affected by the law • Good knowledge of the law and sound common sense

    15. Records • Solicitors must create or organise a record of what happens in a case, so that the case may be understood by barristers and judges

    16. Records • The recording process starts when the solicitor first meets the client • Solicitor provides the client with information about what can and cannot be done, and how much it will cost

    17. Records • Keeping note of all important meetings and telephone conversations relating to the case • Organising all case documents (essential when handling clients’ property and money)

    18. Family or ‘High Street’ Solicitor • ‘on call’ to dealwithalmosteveryaspectof legal life • Individualclients (crime, personal injuryclaims, familymatters, employmentandsocialsecurityproblems) • Otherclients: estateagents, bank managers, accountants

    19. Representation • Solicitors often appear in court as advocates, ‘pleading the causes’ of their clients • Solicitors present cases in the lower courts: magistrates’ courts and the county courts

    20. Solicitor advocates • Allowed to appear in the Crown Court and High Court

    21. Solicitors and barristers • Solicitors have direct contact with their clients, barristers do not • The solicitor’s relationship with a client – more personal

    22. Solicitors and barristers • A client who needs the services of a barrister must go first to a solicitor, who will instruct, or brief the barrister • The solicitor will choose the barrister who is right for the case, and help prepare the case for court

    23. The Law Society • The professional bodythatgovernsthesolicitors’ branchofthe legal profession • Responsible for thetrainingofsolicitors

    24. The Law Society • Solicitors - ‘admitted to theRolls’, whichmeanstheirnameswillbeentered on theroll (list) ofsolicitorspermitted to practise • They must have a practisingcertificateissuedbytheLawSociety • Cc. 97,300 solicitors

    25. The Law Society • Makes rules as to how solicitors should look after their clients • Carries out spot-checks and audits • Disciplinary powers

    26. Training • A lawdegree – notessential • A student who doesnotgraduateinlawtakes a conversioncourseconversion course, alsocalled theGraduate Diploma inLaw(GDL/CPE) • 1 year (full time) or 2 years (part-time)

    27. Trainingofsolicitors • Legal PracticeCourse (LPC), or Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice  : 1 year (fullcourse) or 2 years (part-time); • aim: to equiptraineesolicitorswiththeknowledgeandskillsto work in a solicitor’s office; • course-work, practicalskills, writtenexaminations

    28. Training • Training contracts involve work in a solicitor’s office • Trainees handle their own cases, see clients, and carry out the responsibilities of a solicitor under supervision;

    29. Training • Professional skillscourse: subjectssuch as accounting, professional conduct, advocacy • Compulsory modules: Criminal Litigation, Business Law and Practice,PropertyLaw and Practice, and Civil litigation • Electivemodules: personal injury,familylaw, employmentlaw, housing law, immigration law, probate, commerciallaw, welfare law and commercialpropertylaw

    30. Barristers

    31. Barristers • Barrister-at-Law; also known as counsel

    32. Barristers • Whentheyqualifythey are ‘called to the Bar’ • datesfromthedayswheneachcourtroomwasfittedwith a bar dividingtheareausedbythe court fromthe general public. Onlybarristerswereallowed to stepuptothe bar to pleadtheirclients’ cases

    33. Barristers • Litigation or ‘courtroom lawyers’ who actually conduct cases in court • Rights of audience (rights to appear) in any court (Crown Court, Hight Court, courts of appeal)

    34. Barristers • Mostly specialise in just one or two aspects of litigation (only criminal cases, or one or more of the many types of civil case) • Some: spend their professional lives advising, and writing opinions at the request of solicitors in cases that involve difficult and complicated areas of the law

    35. Barristers • Clients who need to go to court cannot see a barrister directly; • they can only arrange to be represented by a barrister or to take his advice by first going to a solicitor; • the solicitor will then instruct or brief the barrister to help the client

    36. Barristers • Unlike solicitors, barristers cannot work in partnerships • Self-employed • In-house lawyers

    37. Barristers • Share offices known as barristers’ chambers, and have their work organised by the same manager, who is called a barrister’s clerk

    38. Barrister’s clerk • Arranges court appearances and meetings between clients, solicitors, and barristers (conferences) • Negotiates barristers’ fees

    39. Inns of Court • Gray’s Inn (1370) • Lincoln’s Inn (1422) • Inner Temple (1440) • Middle Temple (1404)

    40. Gray’s Inn

    41. Inns of Court • Inorder to become a barrister, students must pass all thenecessarylawexams; • they must alsoattend ‘qualifyingsessions’ whichinclude ‘dininginHall’ andothereducationalactivities

    42. Dining in Hall • Eating a number of dinners in the Great Hall of an Inn of Court • Dates from the days when students received their legal education by attending lectures which were given while they were dining in Hall

    43. Inns of Court • Each Inn has its own hall, common rooms, library, and church • It is run by a number of Masters of the Bench, or benchers (senior barristers and judges who belong to the Inn, who are elected to govern it)

    44. Inns of Court • For centuries, the training institutions and professional societies for barristers

    45. Call to the Bar • The ceremony that takes place in the Hall, at which newly qualified barristers are formally admitted and welcomed into the profession • When barristers first qualify they are known as ‘junior counsel’

    46. Queen’s Counsel • After some years of experience, a junior counsel who produces work of a high standard, may be appointed by the Lord Chancellor to be ‘One of Her Majesty’s Counsel Learned in the Law’ : Queen’s Counsel (QC) • Becoming a QC: taking silk

    47. Barristers • 2004: 14,364 practising barristers in England and Wales, of whom 1,239 QCs

    48. Type of work • Advocacy – work in court • The art of advocacy – the art of persuasion

    49. Principles of advocacy • ‘A practising barrister must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means his client’s best interests without regard to his own interests or to any consequences to himself or to any other person’ (Barrister’s Code of Conduct)

    50. Training • Academicqualifications, practicaltraining • Attendingthe Bar Professional TrainingCourse: one year full time or two years part time • BPTC aims to give students the skills and required for a career at the Bar: advocacy, role-playing, exercises in drafting legal documents and writing opinions.