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Outline how someone currently studying for 'A' Levels can train and qualify either as a Barrister or a Solicitor. Describe and compare the roles played by Solicitors and Barristers in defending a serious criminal case

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Introduction

Module 2 exam 1.a. Outline how someone currently studying for 'A' Levels can train and qualify either as a Barrister or a Solicitor. (10 marks) 1.b. Describe and compare the roles played by Solicitors and Barristers in defending a serious criminal case. (20 marks) 1.a. Someone studying 'A' Levels who wished to train and qualify as a Barrister would firstly need to gain the required grades in order to be accepted on to a university course. After gaining entrance to a university that person must at least gain a 2:1 degree, which can take up to three to four years. If this degree is not in Law it must be a degree of the required standard, which the Bar deems satisfactory. If this is the case then a conversion course such as the Common Professional Exam (CPE) or the Post Graduate Diploma in Law (PgDL) must be taken. These courses are offered by many academic institutions such as the University of Brighton, the University of the West of England and Leeds Metropolitan University and span over one or two years depending upon whether the course is full or part time. ...read more.

Middle

The training takes twelve months, which is divided into two six monthly periods. The first six months is spent shadowing a qualified barrister, who is known as the pupil master; in this stage the pupil undertakes no practical/advocacy work. The second six months however is known as the practising period, in which a pupil with their masters permission, can undertake to supply legal services and can exercise his/hers right to audience. The Bar Council requires all pupils attend an Advocacy Training course and an Advice to Counsel course during pupillage. After completion of pupillage, the now qualified barrister will have to find chambers. Chambers are a group of offices shared by barristers, yet as barristers are self-employed there is no connection between each of the barristers in a set of chambers. When first qualified, barristers must accept briefs on the 'cab-rank' rule until their reputation is established, after this they can almost pick and choose which cases they wish to accept and disregard those they don't. 1.b. All criminal cases whether they are serious or not, begin with the appointment of a solicitor to a client in order for the defendant to have representation in a magistrates court. ...read more.

Conclusion

A barrister automatically is entitled to wear a wig once qualified yet despite the fact that the solicitor has gained extended rights to audience he/she is never permitted to wear one in court. It is not made clear why this is so yet one must assume that it is special to a barrister, as they have worked to gain it. Another noticeable distinction is the relationship between the client and the solicitor and barrister. As the solicitor has first contact with the client and may spend many hours discussing the case face to face and building up a relationship of trust which is very important to a client. The barrister is instructed via the solicitor not the client and the only primary contact they may not have any primary contact with each other. The barrister will simply be given the case details and will work from that, he/she has no need for one to one meetings with the client. The first time they will come into contact with one another would probably be the first day of the trial. The solicitor would also be present just for support and a sense of familiarity for the client. ...read more.

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