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Solicitors and Barristers

Both solicitors and barristers are lawyers, but their tasks are somewhat different. In the main the barrister is the advocate who "plead" before the judge and jury, and his branch of the profession is usually regarded as the higher one. The solicitor is concerned with advising clients, and he "briefs" the barrister, that is gives him all the facts about the case so that the barrister can present it properly before the judge. A barrister too, is usually specially learned in one particular branch of the law and his views may be sought by solicitor on some knotty point.

In this case the solicitor will say that he has "Counsel's Opinion" and some barristers are largely occupied in this kind of works, particularly when they have specialised in some highly technical for complicated side of the law, as, for instance, Patent Law. The solicitor is more concerned with the preparation of legal deeds such as partnership agreements, transferred of property, leases of land, wills, and many matters in which some kind of legal and binding arrangement is desirable.

Barristers themselves are divided into two classes: the ordinary barrister and the higher ranking K. C. or King's Counsel. To become K. C. a man must have attained some eminence as a barrister before being nominated by the Lord Chancellor The expression "to take silk," sometimes used when a man becomes a K. C., comes from the fact that he wears a silk gown instead of the usual stuff gown of the ordinary, or junior, barrister.


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