What are the different types of lawyers?
You may have heard the different names given to lawyers, such as legal executives, partners, barristers, solicitors, and many more. What is the difference? Which lawyer do you choose?
The meaning of the term ‘lawyer’ is a person studying or working in the field of law. For instance, law students can call themselves lawyers. However, you may not want them to draft your Will!
Some have specific qualifications in the field of law. And other lawyers undergo training to get a license to practice specific areas of law. Felicetti Law Firm shed some light on the different types.
Legal Executives and Solicitors
People first call legal executives and solicitors for legal advice. They mostly work in an office. You will find their offices anywhere. For example, you can find their offices on a skyscraper in Canary Wharf or on your local high-street.
Legal executives are also known as Chartered Legal Executives. They can only practice certain types of law, such as employment and family law. The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives governs Chartered Legal Executives. They must undergo vocational training and academic training to qualify. Trainee legal executives are the legal executives who are yet to complete their academic/vocational training.
Solicitors advise people on different areas of law since they are qualified to do si. However, they can specialize in specific areas of the law. The Solicitors Regulation Authority regulates solicitors. Solicitors must undertake demanding vocational and academic training to qualify. The vocational training is called a training contract. That is why the person undergoing the training is called a ‘trainee solicitor’. The trainee solicitor works in various areas (‘seats’) for a period of two years.
They are a little different from legal executives and solicitors. It is not possible to hire a barrister personally. Solicitors will hire them on your behalf. Barristers are not employed because they are self-employed. Barristers join chambers. When a group of barristers joins forces to share expenses and costs, they form chambers.
Barristers have ‘rights of audience’. That is why they can represent their UK clients in the higher courts. In addition, barristers can advise solicitors on the most complicated points of law. There are more legal executives and solicitors than barristers in the UK. The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers. Barristers must undergo demanding specialist training to get a pupillage and obtain ‘tenancy’. Pupillage is their version of vocational training. They undergo the training to get a permanent position at a chambers.
Legal assistants, paralegals, licensed conveyancers, etc.
You may have come across the various titles given to lawyers.
Some titles, such as licensed conveyancers, need qualification and training. Some titles, like legal assistants and paralegals, describe the lawyers who work in the legal area. However, these lawyers do not have a specific legal qualification.
Most legal assistants and paralegals are knowledgeable and they have enough experience that can rival the experience and knowledge of legal executives and solicitors, even though legal assistants do not have a specific legal qualification.