Solicitor v barrister
Sports Participating in sport implies drive, teamwork and communication skills, which are ideal for both solicitors and barristers. Acting/performing These are highly relevant skills for both branches of the profession. Whether you are a solicitor or barrister, you will be in the business of persuading people, and conveying information and ideas. However, the courtroom side of a barrister’s work is a direct application of these attributes, so the Bar may value them slightly higher. Commercial/business knowledge Whatever you do in the law, you will at some level be involved in running a business – be it as part of a huge firm or as a self-employed person in sole practice or at the Bar. Further, you will often be working to assist the businesses of others. Firms of solicitors provide not only legal advice, but are also employed as business advisers with an eye on overall strategy. Barristers are more typically ‘hired hands’ for advocacy or for preparing highly specific legal opinions, but those at the commercial Bar must still appreciate and prioritise the business interests of their clients when preparing to advocate on their behalf. Legal work experience At trainee or pupil level, nobody expects you to know the law inside out. What they do expect is for you to have a relatively sophisticated grasp of the profession, its activities and its rhythms, as a way of showing that you have thought sensibly about why you want to become a lawyer. One of the best ways of doing this is to find a law (or law- related) environment in which you can learn what it’s all about. Eloquence Aswesawabove, theability tocommunicate is the fundamental tool of the trade. Thebetter you areat communicating, thebetter a lawyer youwill
One of the most fundamental questions you must address when considering a career in the law is whether to become a solicitor or a barrister. To put it simply, a barrister appears in court, while a solicitor works in a law firm. However, the differences are much more complex than that. Some say that it comes down to whether you are an individualist (barrister) or a team player (solicitor). While it is true that a barrister is almost always self-employed and bound to other barristers only by convenience, and a solicitor may be just one worker in a law firm of thousands of people, in reality the situation is less black and white. Barristers are often involved in teamwork and some solicitors may spend many hours on their own drafting documents.
Here’s a general guide to some factors which may help you to decide.
Academic performance Fantastic academic results are the ideal underpinnings of every legal career. You will generally find a close correlation between the best academic scores and the best (or at least the best-paying) jobs in the legal profession. This may be slightly more important for the Bar, as it is smaller and consequently even more selective. The Bar is also rather more weighted towards the traditional universities, to which the Oxbridge-heavy tenant lists at many chambers attest (although the Bar is working to address this bias). Positions of responsibility Havingbeen theheadprefect or leader of a youth group is an impressiveachievementwhichever strandyouchoose. However, positionsof responsibility areoftenconcernedwithkeeping hierarchies inorder and thus couldbedescribed asmanagement training. For this reason, they maybemorehighly valuedby firmsof solicitors whowill haveclear and rigidstructures for their employees.
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