UNIT 1: SECTION 1B – THE LEGAL SYSTEM THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND OTHER SOURCES OF ADVICE AND FUNDING OBJECTIVES: KNOW WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM LAWYER BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE THE QUALIFICATIONS, TRAINING AND WORK OF BARRISTERS BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE THE QUALIFICATIONS, TRAINING AND WORK OF SOLICITORS KNOW THE ROLE OF THE BAR COUNCIL AND THE LAW SOCIETY KNOW KEY TERMS: PUPILAGE, BAR STANDARDS BOARD, BARRISTERS CLERK, ILEX,
STARTER ACTIVITYList different types of LawyersDefine the following terms:1. LPC ----2. CPD ----3. GDL ---4. Law Society ---5. Pupillage ---6. Bar council ---
LAWYERS• Two main branches in the legal profession BARRISTERS & LAWYERS• These branches are traditional andHave RIGHTS OF AUDIENCE ( right to appear andspeak on behalf of their client) in court• LEGAL EXECTUTIVES: specialist employees of solicitors. They work in areas such as conveyancing, debt recovery or wills. Do not have same right of audience in court as the lawyers
The legal profession• No common training for lawyers – although a call for this• 1994 Lord Chancellor’s advisory committee on legal education, under Lord Steyn, recommended that, instead of having separate training for barristers and solicitors, ‘the two branches should have joint training’• Suggested solicitors should work for 6 months or a year at a solicitors and barristers go on to do extra training at the Bar.• Despite these recommendations, the training remains separate for the two professions.
SOLICITORS• Key term: A legal professional whoAdvises clients about the Law and acts on behalf of clients in legal matters• The usual first port of call when someone recognises that he needs legal advice is to contact a solicitor.• They are general practitioners of the legal world and deal with all kinds of legal problems• Work in private practice, firms or solely• Unlike barristers, they can form partnerships• Solicitors can be found in local government, law centres, the civil service, commerce and industry
TRAINING FOR SOLICITORS • Law Degree Route:GCSE’s or equivalent A levels orequivalent Law Degree Legalpractice Course Training Contract Professional Skills Course Admissionto the Roll
TRAINING FOR SOLICITORS • Non-Law Degree Route:GCSE’s or equivalent A levels orequivalent Degree in subject otherthan LawCommon ProfessionalExamination Legal practice Course Training Contract Professional SkillsCourse Admission to the Roll
TRAINING FOR SOLICITORS • Non-Graduate Route:GCSE’s or equivalent enter the Legalprofession Institute or Legal ExecutivesPart 1Institute of Legal Executives Part2 2 years Legal Experience Beadmitted as Fellow of ILEX LegalPractice Course Professional SkillsCourse Admissions to the Roll
Discuss• What are the advantages and disadvantages of each route?
The academic route• The bar council (representative body for barristers) and the Law society(rep body for solicitors) require students to complete a qualifying Law degree that includes seven key topics: public law, EU law, Criminal Law, contract, Tort, property and trusts : Average cost of a 3 year degree £9,000• Non-law graduates – GDL(graduate diploma in law)/CPE(common professional examination) must be completed covering the same key topics. Studied in 1 year full time or 2 years part time: cost £7,000
Academic route for Solicitors• The law graduate route – successfully completing a qualifying law degree. Must achieve the pass mark for each of the foundations of legal knowledge subjects.• Degree remains valid for seven years, after that becomes stale. To ensure solicitors have up-to-date basic legal knowledge• Non-graduate route is exactly the same as for barristers• Non-graduate route: different regulations for those who are non- graduates and those who are members of the institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) . Route not available for person wishing to become Barrister. Non- grad may be able to undertake CPE/GDL, if they are mature student and hold other academic / vocational qualifications. Mature student must be over 25 yrs and suitable work experience and good education. All at the discretion of the Law society• ILEX route – must pass examinations in the foundations of legal knowledge. Members of ILEX.• LPC – business law, property and civil / criminal. Practical legal research, writing, drafting documents, interviewing - £10,000
QUIZ• 1. What are the two main branches of lawyers?• 2. what is meant by right of audience?• 3. What did the Lord Chancellors Advisory suggest?• 4. what is the definition of a solicitor?• 5. What are the 3 academic routes to becoming a solicitor?• 6. What is the cost of a degree?, CPE? & LPC?• 7. Name one compulsory topic that needs to be covered in the Law degree• 8. When does the law degree become invalid?• 9. What is the role of the Law society?• 10. What is the purpose of the CPE?
VOCATIONAL STAGE: SOLICITORS• After degree still not a qualified solicitor• Must obtain a training contract – work in solicitors firm for two years and get practical experience: will work in three areas of law such as personal injury, conveyancing, company, environmental or criminal litigation.• Can also do training in the crown prosecution service or legal department of a local authority• Trainee will be paid but not the same rate as fully qualified solicitor and will do own work supervised by solicitor. Aim to regularly review and as time goes on the trainee will deal with clients and learn to handle cases without supervision• Have to do 20 day Professional skills course which builds on the skills learnt on the LPC.• On completion – trainee admitted as a solicitor and get practising certificate. Licence to work as a solicitor must get renewed annually.• Must continue professional development - must update on the law and The solicitors Regulation Authority requires that all solicitors complete 16 hrs of continuing professional development activities per year. Must also complete law societys management course.
Work Buy / sell propertySolicitors: Personal injury claims Advising on matrimonial problems Financial disputes Immigration issues Instruct barrister to represent them in court In civil matters – represent clients in interlocutory hearings (hearings before trials) Appear in court in enforcement proceedings ( repossession cases) Criminal cases, often represent client in Magistrates court – may make defendants first bail application
BARRISTERS• Key term: BRANCH OF PROFESSIONAL LAWYERS WHOSEMAIN WORK IS TO GIVE SPECIALIST LEGAL ADVICE AND REPRESENTPEOPLE IN COURT• Usually referred to as the ‘Bar’ and they are controlled by their own professional body – The General Council Of The Bar• Must be a member of one of the four Inns of Court: Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Gray’s Inn (all situate near Royal Courts of justice in London)• Inns of court grant qualified status to barristers.
TRAINING FOR BARRISTERS • Law Degree Route:GCSE’s or equivalent A levels orequivalent Law Degree (2:i) Barvocational course join Inns of Courtone year vocational training coursecalled to the BarBar examinationcourse Pupillage (professionaltraining) practise as a barrister
TRAINING FOR BARRISTERS • Non-Law Degree Route:GCSE’s or equivalent A levels orequivalent Degree in subject otherthan Law Common ProfessionalExamination/GDL Join Inns of CourtBar vocational course bar examinationcourse called to the bar pupillagepractise as a barrister
TRAINING FOR BARRISTERS • Non-Graduate Route: Mature student CPE (LAWDEGREE)membership of Inn of Court one year BVC one year Bar Examination course call tothe Bar practising as non-practising barrister (no rights of audience)BE AWARE OF ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF EACH ROUTE
BARRISTERS: 3 STAGES OF TRAININGSTAGE 1:• Degree - £9,000• CPE – £7,000STAGE 2:• BVC - £12,000( 1yr full time or 2 yrs. part time) Topics covered include civil and criminal litigation the law of evidence and criminal litigation, the law of evidence and skills of drafting, opinion writing and advocacy as well as legal research and fact management• Inns of Court: four training institutions – must join one.
Inns of court• http://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/Educat ionandtraining/aboutthebvc/joininganinn/• Lincoln’s Inn, Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple• They grant qualified status to barristers• Students must dine 12 times at their Inn – formerly involved dining with senor barristers and networking. Today it involves educational sessions, lectures and workshops and networking• Have a library, common room• They have the power to call a student to the bar and admission is required before registration on BVC
BARRISTERS: 3 STAGES OF TRAININGSTAGE 3:• Pupillage - professional sage of training under the supervision of an experienced barrister. First 6 months is non-practising (shadow and work with supervisor barrister) last 6 months is practising ( carry out legal services and have rights of court• Lots of competition for pupillage so mini pupillage is useful starting point. It is a short period of work experience (usually few weeks) in a set of chambers. Some chambers require applicants to undertake an assessed mini-pupillage as part of the recruitment process, and others use it as selection criteria. All applicants to the bar are advised to undertake at least one mini-pupillage by the bar standards board.• If pupil completes the year successfully and an opportunity is available, he or she is awarded a permanent place in chambers, known as a tenancy. There are twice the number of pupils as tenancies. Some remain in their pupillage chambers until they secure tenancy somewhere else• Pupillage extremely difficult to obtain 2007/08 of 2,870 BVC students only 419 went on to gain pupillage the following year (15%)
PAY• Bar council sets minimum rate to be paid toTo pupils £10,000 per annum + travel expenses• Qualified - £25,000-150,0000
WORK: BARRISTERS• Barristers, who primarily work in chambers on a self- employed basis, present cases in court and usually specialise in one of several areas.• These areas include criminal law, commercial law, and common law.• They will be expected to provide expert advice to individuals including solicitors.• Some barristers spend a lot of time in court, whereas others spend more time in an office environment.• Those involved with criminal law tend to be more focused upon the court environment,• whereas those involved with family or property law will provide individuals with advice from a base in an office.
CRITICISMS OF THE TRAINING PROCESS• Expensive – debt owe large sums of money to pay BVC (approx £25,000)• not guaranteed job at end of training• Inns of court monopoly broken. More providers offering BVC but more applicants applying for same number of pupillage• Candidates forced to choose a career as a barrister or solicitor at too early a stage. Suggestions of law degrees expanded to include courses that exempt students from vocational training• Complex• Competitive• Difficult for potential lawyers from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed
Positives of training process• In-depth• Academic• Vocational• Professional• Competitiveness prepares candidates for cut and thrust of life in legal profession• High standards monitored
TEAM RELAY: winning team writes as much as they can remember from this section• KNOWLEDGE:• 1. How are the LPC and BVC different in terms of content and cost?• 2. Name three criticisms of the training process.• 3. Why is it now so hard to get pupillage, and is this easier or harder than getting a training contract? Give statistics to back up your answer.• Define the following keywords: BVC, CPE, CPD, LPC, Inns of court, Pupillage, training contract