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How To Become A Lawyer?

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Edited By Izabela Krasnicka and Magdalena Perkowska

The present publication collects the contributions of the colloquium «How to Become a Lawyer in Europe», which took place on June 4, 2010 in Andorra la Vella – within the frame-work of the 15th annual meeting of the representatives of the Network of European Universities in Legal Studies.
We gathered articles concerning not only many European countries but also the United States and a special contribution is made to the system in California (USA). Each part is a unique guide through internal regulations leading to different legal professions. The articles present the academic education system in the field of law and also special requirements and professional exams giving the right/permission to perform legal professions. The reader will see the differences and similarities especially in the European systems of the presented countries.

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ANTHONY DURSI - BECOMING A LAWYER IN ENGLAND AND WALES 29

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Becoming a lawyer in England and Wales Anthony DURSI The United Kingdom comprises three distinct legal jurisdictions: Eng- land & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This article will outline the steps required in order to become a lawyer in England and Wales. England and Wales is a common law jurisdiction with a split legal profession: the overarching term “lawyer” encompasses solicitors, barristers and legal executives. The solicitor side of the profession is much larger, with nearly 118,000 practising solicitors in 2010,11 which compares to just over 15,000 practising barristers.12 Solicitors are generally the first point of contact for clients, and are generally office- based whereas barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and giving expert legal opinions. Qualifying as either a solicitor or barrister can be divided into three main stages: academic, vocational and professional. The academic stage is the same for both sides of the profession, but it is important to consider these different routes at an early stage in order to undertake relevant work experience. Qualification as a legal executive follows a different path, with no university degree necessary. 11 The Law Society Annual Report 2010, . 12 The Bar Council Bar Barometer, March 2011, . 30 Anthony DURSI Solicitor Academic stage Many students undertake a qualifying law degree at undergraduate level most often in the form of a LLB. Qualifying law degrees are widely available at UK institutions (a full list of providers can be found on the Solicitor Regulation Authority’s website13) and they are usually three years in...

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