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Lesson 13


The legal profession in Great Britain

The legal profession in England is divided into two main groups, barris­ters and solicitors. A popular definition of the distinction between solicitors and barristers is that barristers do the court work and solicitors do the office work. In practice, the major volume of court work is done by solicitors and barristers do much "office" work. At present no solicitor, however experi­enced, may represent a client at a full hearing in any of the higher courts. On the other hand, a barrister, however inexperienced, may represent clients in the House of Lords.

Being a solicitor does not simply involve acquiring a knowledge of the theory and practice of the law. It also requires high standards of conduct and an onerous obligation to the courts. The full title of a solicitor is "Solicitor of the Supreme Court". All solicitors are automatically officers of the court. They have duties to the court which sometimes override the duties to their clients. For instance, solicitors must not knowingly allow their client to tell, lies in the witness box. If a client confesses their guilt to a solicitor, the so­licitor would be committing an offence if he or she then called the client to give evidence that they were innocent.

Many barristers, especially junior barristers, spend much of their time on paperwork, giving opinions, drafting pleadings and other documents related to court proceedings, but also drafting contracts, trust deeds and other formal legal documents which are not immediately connected with litigation.

A person seeking to qualify as a solicitor can become a trainee solicitor after three years of university legal education and one extra year doing the legal practice course. As a trainee solicitor it is possible to obtain a paid po­sition even before qualifying.

The young would-be barrister has much less chance of earning anything before he qualifies, must then obtain a seat in chambers from which he can try to build up a practice, knowing that, times will probably be hard for a few years. He has to meet his own expenses, cover his own holidays and buy his own (very expensive) sick-pay insurance. In return he gets the sat­isfaction of wearing a wig, and of being self-employed. Doubtless also, being a barrister still sounds a much more glamorous occupation than being a solicitor.


New vocabulary:

Legal profession — юридическая профессия

barrister - адвокат, выступающий в суде

solicitor - поверенный

do the court work — выполнять работу в суде

do the office work — выполнять работу в конторе

represent a client at full hearing - представлять клиента на полном слушании

acquiring a knowledge of the theory and practice – приобретение знаний по теории и практике

onerous - обременительный

officer of the court - судебный исполнитель

have duties to the court — иметь обязательства перед судом

override - превышать

witness box — место для дачи свидетельских показаний

confess a guilt — признать вину

offence — правонарушение

give evidence — давать свидетельские показания

innocent - невиновный

draft - составлять проект

pleadings — состязательные бумаги, которыми обмениваются стороны на предварительной стадии судебного процесса

court proceedings — рассмотрение дела в суде

trust deed — акт учреждения доверительной собственности

legal documents - юридические документы

litigation — судебная тяжба

qualify as a solicitor — получить квалификацию поверенного

trainee — практикант

legal education — юридическое образование

legal practice - юридическая практика

obtain a paid position — получить оплачиваемую должность

would-be barrister - стремящийся стать адвокатом

obtain a seat in chambers — получить место в конторе

sick-pay — insurance оплата по болезни

build up a practice — приобрести клиентуру



1. Составьте предложения, используя следующие слова и словосочетания:

a)to commit / a crime / a suicide / a murder

b)to give / evidence/ an opinion/ notice/ time/ the benefit of the doubt

c) to draft / pleadings / contracts / trust deeds / legal documents / a letter to the bank manager / a report


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