The Regulation of the Legal Profession
Solicitors engage in a wide range of legal activities such as commercial law, probate, conveyance, family law, criminal and civil litigation and arbitration. Solicitors have rights to practise exclusively in certain areas of the law. The barrister is a lawyer who has been admitted to "plead at the bar." Meaning that he or she has been called to the bar by the 'benchers' and subject to pupil age requirements, also is allowed to appear in court to argue a client's case. Fundamentally, successfully obtaining a second-class honours degree, the need of attending the Inns of Court School of Law, or other validated Bar Vocational Course provider, for a one year term and passing the "bar final" exams. Furthermore, followed by a one-year pupil age in chambers, where the learner lawyer benefits from association and attendance at court with an experienced barrister. This allows students to acquire the skills, knowledge of procedure and competence to prepare them for the specialised training of the twelve months of pupil age. But before the pupil age, a barrister-in training must attend twelve dinners at the Inns of Court, followed by the call to the bar. Âlthough the process of becoming a barrister seems much more demanding, the outcomes are much superior as oppose to a solicitor. Only barristers can become judges in the higher courts. Barristers, usually, do not have to go through as much paper work as solicitors. Nevertheless, barristers are not allowed to open their own law firms and are obliged to proactive on their own account, whereas solicitors are not.
It would be hard to predict which segment of the profession would have the most influence with the admitting authorities (Richard L. Abel, 1981). The same problem exists with unauthorized practice, for example. Wall Street and K Street firms hardly make their money because of their licenses; much of what they do is done, for fees in the same range, by investment bankers and lobbyists. Indeed, the most powerful District of Columbia firms were some of the strongest proponents of partnership with nonlawyers. Such firms do not represent the same economic interest as the solo practitioner threatened by the licensed independent paralegal. On most points of collective action, then, the legal profession is unable to act in its common interest because its interest is not common. The one point of common interest is the creation of an effective system by which lawyers can assure clients that they are bound to them. These are legal duties analogous to what I have called "fitness" in the preceding section. These are the duties to keep confidences, to segregate trust funds, and to file suits before the statute of limitations runs. The reader of the Model Rules will note that these duties are clearly specified in straightforward sections of the code. The legal system has created effective remedies for these violations (David B. Wilkins, 799). One of the most frequent criticisms of the professional discipline system is that it responds mainly to client complaints and almost never acts without a specific complaint from an injured client.
Richard L. Abel, Toward a Political Economy of Lawyers, 1981 Wis. L. REv. 1117.
David B. Wilkins, Who Should Regulate Lmvyers?, 105 HARv. L. REV. 799, 822-24
MINN. STAT. ANN. § 147.02(I)(g).
MODEL RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT preamble (1992).