We often hear the words barrister and lawyer used interchangeably. However, there is actually a difference between the two. Specifically, barristers are lawyers who specialise in advocacy. 'Lawyer' is a broader umbrella term, which also includes solicitors.
A lawyer is a professional who is qualified to offer advice about the law or represent someone in legal matters.
A barrister is an expert advocate. They provide specialist legal advice in specific areas of law. Barristers spend much of their time representing individuals and businesses in court.
Barristers are typically retained by a solicitor to provide legal representation in highly complex legal matters, and may also provide written advice on specific areas of law.
A solicitor is a lawyer that is involved in the day to day management of your case. Specifically, in the case of criminal matters, your solicitor will be responsible for your initial appointment, receiving instructions, providing advice, drafting letters, or any court documents that your case may require.
In summary, The term ‘lawyer’ is an umbrella term for both solicitors and barristers. Solicitors provide general legal advice on a variety of issues. Barristers are specialists in certain legal fields that solicitors can instruct on behalf of their client to appear in court.
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