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A lawyer is a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person licensed to practice law.

The role of the lawyer varies significantly across legal jurisdictions. In practice, legal jurisdictions exercise their sovereign right to determine who is recognized as a lawyer. As a result, the meaning of the term "lawyer" may vary from place to place. In Australia, the word "lawyer" is used to refer to both barristers and solicitors. In Britain, "lawyer" is used to refer to a broad variety of law-trained persons. It includes practitioners such as barristers, solicitors, legal executives.

In civil law countries legal professions consist of a large number of law-trained persons, known as jurists, of which only some are advocates who are licensed to practice in the courts. In England, Canada and Australia (common law jurisdiction) there is a divided legal profession where a lawyer is either a solicitor or a barrister.

The solicitor can be characterised as a general practitioner: a lawyer who deals with clients directly. He undertakes advocacy in the lower courts and instructs barristers (in England and Wales) or advocates ( in Scotland) to represent their clients in the higher courts. Solicitors are responsible for the preparatory stages of litigation such as the preparation of evidence, interviewing witnesses, issuing writs and conducting interlocutory proceedings. They also deal with some non-litigious matters such as drafting of wills, the supervision of trusts and settlements, the administration of estates and conveyances.

The historical difference between two professions is that a solicitor is an attorney of his client and may conduct litigation. A barrister is not an attorney and is forbidden, both by law and by professional rules, from conducting litigation. Professional barristers are competent to perform all advocacy for the prosecution or defence in criminal cases and for a plaintiff or defendant in a civil action. Barristers have a major role in trial preparation, including drafting pleadings and reviewing evidence.

The US legal system does not distinguish between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not. The attorney at law ( defense attorney, the defense counsel ( Am.)) is a person admitted to practice law in his respective state and authorized to perform both civil and criminal legal functions for clients. He drafts legal documents, gives legal advice, and represents them before courts, administrative agencies, boards.

The defence counsel role is to review the documents and other evidence the police have accumulated against the accused, and to interview or question the arresting officers and others involved in the case. The defence attorney may interview witnesses to the crime, and may even conduct an independent investigation.

At bail hearings and plea negotiations defence attorneys represent the accused. At trial defence attorneys question jurors, cross examine prosecution witnesses, call defence witnesses, represent the accused and help them to get the best possible sentences.


V. SPEAKING | Insert one of the following words into the text in an appropriate form.

III. VOCABULARY STUDY | Each of the sentences contains a mistake. The mistakes are all in the prepositions. Find and correct them. | Judicial System in England and Wales | Read the definitions and put the letters in order to make up the words connected with the English judicial system. | Mrs George is a witness to the robbery. The judge is questioning her. Complete the dialogue with the answers given below. | V. OVER TO YOU | THE LAWYER | II. COMPREHENSION | III. VOCABULARY STUDY | Look through the list of functions performed by the Ukrainian lawyer. Put them in order they are performed. Translate these word combinations into Ukrainian. |

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