Difference Between Barrister and Solicitor

Barrister vs Solicitor

A Barrister, also called barrister-at-law is a lawyer who has been called to the bar and is qualified to plead in the higher courts, whereas Solicitor is an attorney who advises clients on legal matters, draws up legal documents, represents clients in certain lower courts, and prepares cases for barristers to present in the higher courts.

A barrister and a solicitor are two other nomenclatures of a lawyer depending upon the nature of their training, role and wages.  There is not much of a difference between the two when it comes to educational qualifications needed to undergo training.  Both of them need a basic degree in law to undergo the next level of training.

There is a marked difference between a barrister and a solicitor when it comes to the nature of training they receive after the academic side gets completed.  The promising barrister is expected to join one of the four Inns of Court, namely, Grayi’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, the Middle Temple and the Inner Temple.  After that he should attend twelve dinners or weekend residential courses.  The aspiring barrister would do well to meet judges and other people in the same profession when he attends dinners.  This is the one great advantage of attending dinners.

The training course of a solicitor is a bit different.  He would complete a vocational course called as the Legal Practice Course that pays stipend too. It is a course for duration of one year.  The course is practical in the sense that the aspirant would be imparted training in the practice of advocacy.  He would be made to learn variety of skills and techniques in the art of advocacy.  They would learn how to advocate before courts during the period of one year.  Exercises in drafting business and solicitor accounts are given to the aspirants during training.  There is everything demanding about this course and hence it is a must that such of those desiring to become solicitors should complete the training period of one year.

Barrister’s training is for a period of one year too and it is practical in nature.  The course is termed as Bar Vocational Course.  The course helps the aspirant in honing his skills in the art of advocacy so that he would be in a position to handle both civil and criminal litigations with ease.  There is some difference between a barrister and a solicitor when it comes to the matter of practicing with a senior.

The aspiring barrister has to spend twelve months of practice with a senior barrister.  After this period, the barrister becomes fully eligible to practice on his own.  There is no big advantage in terms of salary as it is very meager indeed.  This is the major disadvantage of being a trainee barrister under the tutelage of a senior barrister.  The aspiring solicitor also should undergo training under a fully qualified solicitor.  After the training period is over he can become a practicing solicitor.  The solicitor is normally employed by a firm or a local authority.

Here are the differences between a barrister and a solicitor.

Members of the public approach a solicitor to seek his advice.  A barrister on the contrary can be called upon to prosecute in a civil litigation and to defend in another.

The client and the solicitor are bound by a contractual relationship.  A barrister on the contrary should be happy with paperwork.