What is s Lawyer? And what is a Solicitor? The linguistic line between these two terms has been blurred by American English - to the extent that people think they mean the same. But they are different jobs. We explain ...
We often get asked about the different job roles within a company such as ours, but perhaps the most common question is ‘what is a solicitor, and how are they different from a lawyer?’. If you’re confused, read on …
What is a Lawyer?
The term ‘lawyer’ is not commonly used in the UK, as it tends to encompass many roles and positions within the legal system.
‘Lawyer’ is used to describe anyone that is licensed to work as a legal practitioner and can give legal advice on a matter. Although the word ‘lawyer’ in the United States has bled over into the British English vocabulary, it isn’t really an occupation; more of a general umbrella term.
Professionals like Solicitors, Barristers, Conveyancers and Chartered Legal Executives all fall under the ‘lawyer’ banner.
They can all take different routes to qualification and may be governed by different regulatory bodies.
For instance, Solicitors are regulated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) but Barristers are monitored by the Bar Council, and Licenced Conveyancers are supervised by the CLC (Council for Licenced Conveyancers).
And what is a Solicitor?
A solicitor is a specific type of lawyer who gives legal support and representation from the very beginning of the legal process. They can help with a whole number of issues within the judicial system, including problems concerning commercial law, family law and property law.
Solicitors these days tend to specialise in a particular area of law such as Conveyancing, Family Law, Wills and Probate, Litigation, Dispute Resolution etc. This is why it’s important to check that the solicitor you would like to appoint has expertise with the particular problem you need help with.
Main tasks undertaken by your solicitor
Amongst the main duties you need a solicitor to carry out are:
- Giving legal opinion;
- Drafting contracts;
- Running property searches;
- Distributing assets between parties;
- Preparing briefs and documents for counsel (barristers).
Will a solicitor work on my case all the time?
Sometimes the solicitor assigned to you will have a team of people to help them, some or all of whom might be legally qualified, or if not, they will be experienced in the particular area in which they practise.
This is to help lighten the load on the solicitor in charge of your case so they can provide the best service possible for you. This team can include a Chartered Legal Executive or some secretarial support.
Legal Executives are usually qualified in specific areas of law so can assist in cases but at Cunningtons, they will always be supervised by a solicitor.
Solicitors are generally the first point of contact for people looking to follow through with a legal matter, so providing the best possible service and ensuring that clients are duly informed is a top priority.
How do I know who I need to talk to?
If you’re looking to contact a solicitor for a legal problem, don’t hesitate to ask our team if we can help you!
Cunningtons Solicitors have experts ready to look after all the legal issues you are likely to come up against throughout your life, and we can quickly identify the correct specialist for you.
If you know what branch of the law you need, contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the right department. If you need more guidance, you can just enquire at https://cunningtons.co.uk/contact/ for more legal advice.