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What’s The Difference Between A Barrister And A Solicitor?

What’s The Difference Between A Barrister And A Solicitor?


If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a barrister and a solicitor, you’re not alone. In the legal profession, these two terms are often used interchangeably—but they are actually quite different! In this article, we will explore the differences between barristers and solicitors and how each plays their part in the legal process. From their education to their roles in court proceedings, we will examine everything you need to know about barristers and solicitors. So read on to learn more about these two unique roles in the legal world!

The Role of a Barrister

A barrister is a lawyer who represents clients in court. Barristers are also known as advocates or solicitors. They usually specialize in one area of law, such as criminal law, family law, or commercial law.

Barristers must be members of the bar, which is a professional body that regulates the legal profession. In order to become a barrister, one must complete a law degree and pass the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). After being called to the bar, barristers must complete a period of pupillage, which is a form of apprenticeship.

The role of a barrister is to provide legal advice to clients and represent them in court. Barristers must be able to research cases and prepare arguments quickly and effectively. They must also be able to think on their feet and adapt their arguments to respond to the opposing counsel’s arguments.

In addition to representing clients in court, barristers may also provide legal advice to clients outside of court. This includes giving advice on legal problems and drafting documents such as contracts or wills.

The Role of a Solicitor

A solicitor is a lawyer who provides advice and represents clients in legal matters. The role of a solicitor is to provide legal advice to clients, draft documents, and represent them in court.

A solicitor can work in any area of law, but they usually specialize in one or two areas. For example, some solicitors may specialize in family law, while others may specialize in criminal law.

The majority of solicitors work in private practice, either as part of a firm or as a sole practitioner. Some solicitors also work in the public sector, such as for the government or charities.

Solicitors must have a law degree and be admitted to the roll of solicitors by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).


There are some key differences between barristers and solicitors that you should be aware of before instructing one.

First and foremost, barristers specialise in advocacy and court work, whereas solicitors tend to focus on the transactional side of things. This means that if you have a case that is going to trial, you will almost certainly need to instruct a barrister.

Barristers also have a higher level of qualification than solicitors; they must complete a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) after their law degree, which is notoriously tough to get on to. This extra training gives them the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the courtroom.

Finally, it’s worth noting that barristers are self-employed, which means they are not beholden to any one firm or organization. This can make them more expensive to instruct, but it also means they have greater flexibility and independence.

Work Environment

The work environment for a barrister is typically an office or chambers, which is a room in a building where barristers practise, located close to the courts. Solicitors, on the other hand, normally work in a law firm with several other solicitors. Both types of lawyers may also travel to meet with clients or attend court hearings.


In the United Kingdom, barristers and solicitors are both lawyers who provide legal services to clients. The main difference between the two is that barristers typically work in the higher courts, while solicitors typically work in lower courts.

Salary is one area where there is a big difference between barristers and solicitors. Solicitors typically earn a lot less than barristers. This is because barristers tend to work for large law firms or for the government, while solicitors tend to work for smaller law firms.

The table below shows the average salary for each type of lawyer in the United Kingdom:

| Type of Lawyer | Average Salary |
| — | — |
| Barrister | £120,000 |
| Solicitor | £50,000 |


In conclusion, barristers and solicitors are two distinct roles in the legal profession. Barristers provide specialist advice and advocacy services to clients while solicitors will manage cases on behalf of their firm. Both types of lawyer require rigorous qualifications and training before they can practise law, so it is important that when choosing a lawyer you make sure they have the necessary qualifications for your particular case. By understanding the differences between these two professions, you can be sure that you are getting the best representation possible for your legal issues.

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