From ArticleWorld

A Solicitor is a legally qualified individual who has a general duty to advise his clients on matters of law. They are fully regulated by the Law Society of England, which is the regulatory and representative body for 116,000 solicitors in England and Wales. To belong to the society solicitors have to have basic law education and pay the Society a certain sum as fee to keep practicing their profession.


Solicitor is a term used for lawyers in England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Canada and some States of Australia. Traditionally, in Common wealth countries, the legal profession had two branches, one comprised the solicitors while the other was made up of barristers. The solicitors by and large acted as the go-between of clients and barristers, conducting interviews and preparing legal documents, in fact doing everything but representing the client in court. The barrister carried out the advocacy functions and did not believe in meeting clients directly.

Qualification and metamorphism

To become a qualified solicitor a person has to get an undergraduate degree in any subject – preferably LLB – and follow it up by a one year graduate diploma in law. Then a one year course called the Legal practice Course and a two year apprenticeship with a senior solicitor is required before a person becomes a fully qualified solicitor.

Traditionally, in England and Wales only a barrister could appear in court to fight cases for clients, but in recent years the line dividing the duties of a solicitor from the rights of a barrister have become smudged. A modern solicitor (solicitor-advocate) not only represents his client in a lower court but more often than not also fights his cases in the upper courts while barristers may soon be required to deal directly with clients.

The difference between a solicitor and a barrister in England is reminiscent of the difference between a solicitor and an advocate in Scotland. The Law Societies of Ireland and Australia follow the same rules and norms that are followed in England.