The legal profession is one of the most prestigious and well-paid in Britain. England is almost unique in having two different kinds of lawyers, with separate jobs in the legal system. There are two main branches, those of solicitors and barristers. Of these, barristers form the senior branch of the legal profession. Each branch has its own characteristic functions and a separate governing body. This system has been criticised in recent years because of the resulting duplication of services, delay in the legal process and its expense for consumers.
There are nearly 71,640 solicitors, who practise mainly in private firms, but also in local and central government, in legal centres, and in industry. The solicitors' branch is still a middle-class profession. In order to become a solicitor, it is now generally necessary to have a university degree, preferably but not essentially in law. After the total period of about six years' education and training, the new solicitor can practise law.
Solicitors deal with general legal work, though specialization in one area of the law is now widespread. Their firms offer a wide range of services, such as conveyancing (the buying and selling of property); probate (wills and succession after death); family matters; criminal and civil litigation; commercial cases; and tax and financial affairs.
The solicitor in the past was only able to appear for his client in the lower courts (county and magistrates' courts). Because he could not appear (had no rights of audience) in the higher courts, it is usual for a solicitor to hire a barrister if the case was to be heard in a superior court. Nowadays qualified solicitor-advocates have rights to appear for their clients in the higher courts.
Read the text to fulfil the tasks | Text-study | VII. Render the following text in English. | Read the text to fulfil the tasks | Basic Customs Regimes | VII. Translate the following text from Russian into English in the written form. | X. Explain the italicized grammar constructions in the following sentences. | Economic customs regimes | III. Choose a), b) or c) to complete the following statements about the text. | VII. Translate the following text from Russian into English in the written form. |