Legal professions merger

In this essay, I am going to attempt to conclude whether or not barristers and solicitors should become one profession in the UK… For the sake of argument, I will refer to the merged profession of barristers and solicitors as ‘lawyer’ and state the individual professions where necessary.I would start by analyzing the use of this idea in the US, where they have lawyers (or attorneys-at-law) instead of the separate professions. But after research, I understand the premise of how a court case is executed in the US is unlike how it’s done in the UK. For that reason I conclude that the US system is not a good basis for comparison on this issue. Oral argument, to them, is a small addition to very extensively written “briefs.” Here, the oral hearing is paramount. So, in that case, I will start by listing the advantages, and then the disadvantages of such a proposal. This I feel, will give me the best chance of making a judgement and concluding from there.First of all, cost and security… If we just had ‘lawyers,’ one would be able to stroll into a law firm and know they were just going to be dealing with those people. This should also mean that you can cut your expenses, as you won’t have to pay extra for a barrister, on top of the money you’re paying your solicitor. However, the new ‘lawyers’ could arguably charge their client for both their legal advice and the cost of their advocacy in court. This entails the possibility that the costs of enlisting the help of a ‘lawyer’ may not be so different. Should we examine the difficulty for solicitors to achieve the rank of “Queen’s Counsel.” Nearly all those chosen to bestow the honour upon are barristers. Perhaps a merge would aid in eradicating this partiality.I consider it is essential to look at self-regulation. The Bar Council has criticized the Law Society in the past for its lack of capability to deal with complaints. In 1999, a spokesman for the Bar Council said “The Law Society’s track record on self-regulation is at best mediocre and at worst alarming.” [1] This was in reaction to former Law Society president Robert Sayer’s suggestion of a merge. Also, in July 2001, the Law Society was found guilty of race and sex discrimination against Kamlesh Bahl CBE. [2] Given these circumstances, would we not be undermining the competence of the Bar Council by forcing them to merge with a governing body of less proficiency?In a way, barristers and solicitors are already very alike; both are prosecutors, with the fundamental difference being the training they receive. Barristers are on their feet much quicker than solicitors after the BVC. Whereas a trainee solicitor embarks on a two-year training contract, with partial rights of audience. Within the CPS, there is diminutive distinction between solicitors and barristers. For example, if you walk into a CPS office or a magistrates’ court, you will not be able to tell who the solicitors and who the barristers are. The defining characteristic is in the crown court, where barristers are recognized by their wigs.I’m sure the logistics of a merge would not be so complex; alterations to the training process of the two professions would be the main adjustment. But I believe it’s good that we have two separate professions. In an important case, the presence of a specialist solicitor could be very useful to a barrister. The capacity to confer with one another during intermissions and adjournments must be of assistance to the barrister. The barrister may not be specialized in the case he is arguing, having a specialized solicitor to confer with could help enormously. Also, the barrister’s lack of interaction with the client means that he cannot become attached to them in any way. Thus meaning he can concentrate fully on the task he’s been set, whilst the solicitor acts as the middle-man between client and barrister. Having one profession would mean clients having to look around for a specialized ‘lawyer’ to advise you and argue your case.In conclusion, I’ve decided that it may be a bad decision to amalgamate the two bodies. The Law Society seems to have its problems, and I feel uniting it with the Bar Council would mean the Bar Council being forced to absorb the problems, and alleged deficiencies of the Law Society. I believe a fusion of the two professions would not benefit the country or the legal system, we’ve had the existing structure in place for so long that a change would in all probability, not be welcomed by the public.After review, I am against the idea of merging barristers and solicitors into one profession.

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