What is a solicitor?

by | Oct 4, 2013 | Lawyer

The word “solicitor” can mean different things depending upon the context of the way the word is used and where it’s used. In the UK, Solicitors in Glasgow are an integral component of the legal system. The roles played by solicitors often vary based on laws that are unique to the region. In effect this refers to the differences in laws in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, although in all jurisdictions, the application of the law is practiced by solicitors. In other areas of the world the term solicitor is used to define an individual who “solicits” things from people and organizations. When one sees a sign prominently posted that declares “No Solicitors,” it does not mean any lawyers, it is advising people soliciting things that they are not welcome.

In a purely legal sense, Solicitors Glasgow are individuals who have been through legal training and upon completion, admitted into the practice of law. In the UK, there are two definitions of people practicing law; solicitors and barristers. Generally speaking, solicitors handle everything outside the confines of the court; they prepare all the necessary legal documents, provide advice to clients, etc. Barristers are those legal luminaries that are allowed to argue cases before the court.

In the UK solicitors are free to solicit clients directly, barristers are not. The system is such that the solicitor works with a client and if it appears that the case will be heard in court, the solicitor will work with the barrister. When members of the general public, including corporate entities require legal services, they engage a solicitor. If, after assessing the situation the solicitor feels that a barrister is a necessity, then it is the solicitor who arranges one.

There are some countries where this division of labour was found to be unworkable and both professions were rolled into one. In cases such as this, the practicing individual is usually referred to as a “solicitor and barrister.” In the US, there never was a division of legal labour and those who practice law can be called either by the term lawyer or attorney.
In countries where legal personnel can work both in and out of court, the term solicitor is usually reserved for the legal officer who argues cases on behalf of an arm of government.

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