When living in the United Kingdom, you will come across many different legal professionals including a lawyer, barrister and solicitor.
In most cases, people tend to use these terms interchangeably; however, there are distinct differences between the professionals with particular emphasis on solicitors.
To ensure you are choosing the correct legal representation for your situation, it is important to have knowledge of the different professions, as well as an understanding of the different local, accredited law firms such as solicitor DPH Legal based in Reading. This article will provide information about a solicitor vs a lawyer discussing the differences and why you would need each of these professionals.
What is the Difference Between a Solicitor And a Lawyer
In its simplest form, the difference between a solicitor and lawyer is that a lawyer is able to represent individuals in court regarding civil or criminal matters.
A solicitor can engage in this type of legal representation as well, but their duties tend to remain within the realm of legal advice and handling legal documentation.
Training is important for any legal profession with both lawyers and solicitors needing to obtain an under-graduate degree before entering the legal field. Upon leaving law school, a potential lawyer will need to pass a Bar Association examination and then practice in a state or federal court for one year under the supervision of other lawyers.
A solicitor, however, will need to complete a one-year legal practice course followed by a two-year training contract.
For a solicitor to be allowed to practice, he or she must be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and admitted to the ‘roll’ as a registered member of the Law Society’s Register for Solicitors.
A lawyer needs to have a qualification from a recognised law school and be regulated by a Bar Association to have a practising license before he or she can offer legal services.
Both lawyers and solicitors deal directly with the public and can offer legal advice to clients regarding legal matters. The public can obtain their services using private schemes or via public access programmes.
One of the major differences when it comes to solicitors and lawyers is that the term ‘solicitor’ is used primarily in the UK and ‘lawyer’ in the USA. In the US, a lawyer is a general term for any person licensed to practice law; however, the solicitor is only registered in certain parts of the UK and its commonwealth countries.
When Should I Use A Solicitor Or A Lawyer?
Choosing between a solicitor or a lawyer can be a difficult choice and depends on several factors including the type of situation, the legal aid available and your personal requirements.
Solicitors tend to offer a wider range of legal services than the typical lawyer; however, more and more specialised solicitors are beginning to emerge.
If you are searching for legal advice on a specific situation, it is possible to visit either a solicitor or a lawyer. In most cases, a lawyer would be the better option if you are searching for representation on complex cases where you may require the advice from a settlement agreement solicitor.
One factor that needs to be taken into account is the location of the firm. Most Swindon solicitors are ‘in-house’ solicitors and are employed as part of a legal firm, but some solicitors will be willing to visit people with special needs at their home.
If you find it difficult to travel, it may be worthwhile asking for this option. Lawyers are not always willing to visit their clients, but this may be worth questioning if they are self-employed lawyers.
Many solicitors will offer legal aid work for people who are living on low-income or receiving benefits. The simplest means of finding approved solicitors who offer legal aid work is by contacting a citizens’ advice bureau.
Lawyers, however, do not provide legal aid work unless they are operating as part of a non-profit legal aid organisation. If you do not have enough capital to hire legal representation, it is best you choose a solicitor.
While solicitors are considered to be the more sympathetic of the two legal professionals, this is not altogether true.
A lawyer may have a stereotype of being ‘colder’, but lawyers can be as understanding of a client’s situation as a solicitor. The only difference is that a solicitor will offer advice while a lawyer may be more abrupt focusing on potential legal representation in court. If you are searching for sympathy, try to research the professional before making an informed decision.
As is mentioned, personal requirements will play a role in the legal professional you choose to visit. Solicitors and lawyers will ensure that disabled people are able to use their services; therefore, it is important that you tell the professional about any needs before making an appointment.
Final Words On The Matter
Finding legal representation can be complicated, but once you have the correct information it is possible to choose between a solicitor and a lawyer. Using the information above, you will be able to decide if a solicitor or a lawyer is most suitable to your specific needs.