Solicitor or Barrister: Which One Do I Need?

solicitorLegal issues and cases could be intimidating, but with the help of the right legal professional, you’d be able to address your legal concerns easily. However, with the different terms being thrown around such as lawyers, solicitors, and barristers, you’d have to be aware of which legal professional would be best for you and your concern. Thus, if you ever have any real estate disputes over one of your properties in Townsville, legal concerns with your business, or a criminal case, you should know whether to contact a solicitor, lawyer, or barrister to aid you.

Lawyer

Before we get into the two professions, let’s take a look at the umbrella term “lawyer.” “Lawyer” is the broad term to refer to those who are licensed and qualified to give legal advice in many areas of law. Lawyers have undergone a Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor degree, and they tend to focus on certain areas of law such as family law and property law. When people talk about lawyers, they often refer to solicitors. However, technically, lawyers could refer to either a solicitor or a barrister as they are both types of lawyers. Other types include judges and corporate counsel.

Solicitor

A solicitor is a lawyer who provides legal support and advice to their clients. As such, if you’re in need of legal advice, whether it be real estate, employment issues, and intellectual property, you’ll want to call a solicitor. Solicitors also help their clients with drafting contracts, preparing documents needed for court proceedings, helping with calculating damage claims and compensation, and even gathering evidence. Solicitors do most of their work outside of court, unlike barristers. If your legal concern requires the court to settle an issue, a solicitor will instruct a barrister to represent the client in court.

Barrister

barrister

A barrister is a lawyer who has undertaken further courses and passed their respective state’s bar examination and met their requirements. Barristers do their work in court, representing their clients. They are normally instructed or engaged by a solicitor. Barristers aren’t needed unless legal representation is required. They focus on and engage in litigation and drafting and reviewing court documents. They provide strategic legal advice regarding a case. A solicitor can also become a barrister after passing exams and meeting the requirements of the state’s bar authority.

You can identify the relationship between a solicitor and a barrister by comparing them to your general practitioner and specialist. Your general practitioner (solicitor) does all the preliminary tests and gives advice. Then they refer you to a specialist (barrister) who works on the test results, provides expert advice, and operates.

Solicitors and barristers are both qualified legal professionals. They focus on different aspects, but they often work together. Solicitors can provide you with the legal advice you need (and usually before going to court), while barristers can help you in court. Therefore, whatever your legal issue is or the status of your case is currently, you’ll know which one you need. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to call the nearest lawyer or law firm in your area to assist you.