It's not just about what wigs and gowns you get to wear. Find out the real difference between barristers and solicitors with this simple introduction.
Most of the time solicitors advise clients, undertake negotiations and draft legal documents. It is primarily a desk job, but does involve travelling to see clients and representing them in court.
In the past, a solicitor’s advocacy work was restricted to magistrates’ courts (where less serious cases are dealt with) and minor cases in county courts, but now there are a few solicitor advocates who work in higher levels of the court.
Barristers do not come into contact with the public as much as solicitors. They are given details of a case by a solicitor and then have a certain amount of time to review the evidence and to prepare what they are going to say in court (a pleading).
Most barristers are self-employed and work in Chambers with other barristers so they can share costs of accommodation and administrators. They can also be employed in-house as advisors by banks, corporations, and solicitors firms.
A barrister must take a one-year Bar Professional Training Course in place of the Legal Practice Course, and then they are ‘called to bar’ at one of the four Inns where they do a year’s pupillage shadowing a senior barrister and undertaking some court work. They can then join a set of Chambers as a fully-fledged self-employed barrister