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Types of Legal Professions: Great Britain




(4 видання перероблене)

Донецьк 2013


Укладачі: Мохосоева М.Н., ст. викл., к.ф.н.
Ожерельєва В.О., ст. викл

Рецензент: доц. Бакаєва Г.Є., зав.кафедри англійської мови для економічних спеціальностей.

Затверджено на засіданні кафедри англійської мови з економічних спеціальностей. Протокол № 1 від 29.08.2013.

Навчальний посібник призначений для студентів 1 курсів напряму підготовки „Правознавство” 6.030401. Посібник охоплює теми та вправи для розвитку мовленнєвих навичок, тексти за фахом для читання з метою отримання інформації та усного обговорення, граматичні вправи, та граматичний довідник. Матеріали посібника можуть бути використані для самостійної роботи студентів під керівництвом викладача, а також поза навчальною аудіторією.



Although many kinds of people working in or studying legalaffairs are referred to as lawyers, the word really describes a person who has become officially qualified to act in certain legal mattersbecause of examinations he has taken and professional experience he has gained.

Most countries have different groups of lawyers who each takes a particular kind of examination in order to qualify to do particular jobs. In Japan, a lawyer must decide whether he wants to take the examination to become an attorney,a public prosecutoror a judge.In England, the decision is between becoming a barristeror a solicitor.Barristers specialize in arguing cases in front of a judge and have the right to be heard, the right ofaudience, even in the highest courts. They are not paid directly by clients, but are employed by solicitors. Solicitors have also a right of audience in lower courts, but in higher courts, such as the Court of Appeal, they must have a barrister to argue their client's case. In general, it can be said that a barrister spends most of his time either in a courtroom or preparing his arguments for the court and a solicitor spends most of his time in an office giving advice to clients, making investigationsand preparing documents.

If a person has a legal problem, he will go and see a solicitor. In fact there are at least 50,000 solicitors in Britain, and the number is increasing.

Many problems are dealt with exclusively by a solicitor. For instance, the solicitor deals with pettycrimes and some matrimonialmatters in Magistrates' Courts. He prepares the case and the evidence. He actually speaks in Court for you.

In a civil action he can speak in the County Court, when the case is one of divorceor recovering some debts.In the County Court the solicitor wears a black gown over his ordinary clothes.

A solicitor also deals with matters outside Court. He does the legal work involved in buying a house, for instance. He writes legal letters for you and carries on legal arguments outside Court. If you want to make a willthe best man to advise you is a solicitor.

Barristers are different from solicitors. Barristers are experts in the interpretation of the Law. They are called in to advise on really difficult points. The barrister is also an expert on advocacy(the art of presenting cases in Court). Indeed, if you desire representationin any Court except the Magistrates' Court, you must have a barrister.

Barristers are rather remote figures. If you need one, for instance, you never see him without your solicitor being with him. Barristers do not have public offices in any street. They work in what are known as chambers often in London. They belong to the institutions called Inns of Court, which are ancient organizations rather like exclusive clubs.

In the USA the Justice Department is responsible for the faithful executionof the laws under the President’s authority. The main administrators of federal law enforcement are the ninety four U.S. attorneys, who are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. There is a U.S. attorney in each federal judicial district. Their stuffs of assistant attorneys vary in size with the amount of litigationin the district. U.S. attorneys have considerable discretion,which makes them powerful political figures. Their decision to prosecuteor not affects the wealth, freedom, rights, and reputation of the individuals and organizations in the district.


1. Read the text again to find out if the following statements are true or false.

1. Barristers are paid directly by clients.

2. Solicitors can present cases in lower courts.

3. The number of British solicitors is growing.

4. The Justice Department of the USA is responsible for the effective work of the police.

5. US attorneys are very influential people.

2. According to the text which of the following points completes the sentence best?

1. In Japan a lawyer must………………….

a) take lots of examinations;

b) take one final examination;

c) choose the examination according to his future law career

2. In England the decision of a law student is between becoming………………..

a) a barrister or a solicitor

b) a barrister or a judge;

c) a solicitor or a prosecutor

3. The solicitor usually deals with a……………………

a) petty crimes and matrimonial matters;

b) arguing cases;

c) presenting cases in any court

4. Barristers specialize in………………

a) arguing cases in front of a judge and representation in Magistrates’ Courts;

b) advocacy;

c) employing solicitors

5. US attorneys are……………..

a) the President’s assistants;

b) appointed by the President;

c) elected by people or by the members of the Senate

3. Match the following statements with a particular (British or American) law system.

1. Next week Mr. Richardson presents our case in the County Court.

2. Everybody is shocked: the Senate hasn’t approved the President’s decision to appoint Mr. John Brian Star the fifteenth federal district’s attorney.

3. This chamber is situated in 45 Oxford Street.

4. The Inns of Court are as respectable as exclusive clubs.

4. Find in the text words and phrases with the following meanings

1) connected with the law, required by the law;

2) gathering of persons for the purpose of hearing a speaker, etc.;

3) crimes which are not serious;

4) an English lawyer who specialize in arguing cases and representation in any court;

5) legal ending of a marriage;

6) an English lawyer who gives advice to clients, investigates, prepares documents;

7) support of a client in a Court;

8) the carrying out a piece of work;

9) power or right to give orders;

10) US lawyers having the right to prosecute

Types of Legal Professions: Great Britain

Read this classification.


There are about 50,000 solicitors, a number which is rapidly increasing, and they make up by far the largest branch of the legal profession in England and Wales. Solicitors are important figures in the British legal system. They are found in every town, where they deal with all the day-to­day work of preparing legal documents for buying and selling houses, making wills, etc. Solicitors also work on court cases for their clients, prepare cases for barristers to present in the higher courts, and may represent their client in a Magistrates' court. It is their job to advise you on legal matters of all kinds. If you get into trouble with the police you will probably ask a solicitor to help prepare your defence and, if the offence is to be heard in a Magistrates' Court, you can ask a solicitor to appear for you and argue your case. If the case goes to a higher Court, the solicitor still advises you, but you must get a barrister to appear for you.


There are about 5,000 barristers who defend or prosecute in the higher courts. Although solicitors and barristers work together on cases, barristers specialize in representing clients in court and the training and career structures for the two types of lawyer are quite separate. In court, barristers wear wigs and gowns in keeping with the extreme formality of the proceedings. The highest level of barristers have the title QC (Queen's Counsel).


There are a few hundred judges, trained as barristers, who preside in more serious cases. There is no separate training for judges.


A jury consist of twelve people ("jurors"), who are ordinary people chosen at random from the Electoral Register (the list of people who can vote in elections). The jury listen to the evidence given in court in certain criminal cases and decide whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. If the person is found guilty, the punishment is passed by the presiding judge. Juries are rarely used in civil cases.


There are about 30,000 magistrates (Justices of the Peace or JPs), who judge cases in the lower courts. They are usually unpaid and have no formal legal qualifications, but they are respectable people who are given some training.


Coroners have medical or legal training (or both), and inquire into violent or unnatural deaths.

Clerks of the court

Clerks look after administrative and legal matters in the courtroom.

Choose the correct definition for each legal profession mentioned in the text.

(a) an officer acting as a judge in the lower courts.

(b) a public official with authority to hear and decide cases in a law court.

(c) a group of people who swear to give a true decision on issues of in a law court.

(d) an official who investigates the cause of any death thought to be violent or unnatural causes.

(e) a lawyer who has the right to speak and argue in higher law courts.

(f) a lawyer who prepares legal documents, advises clients on legal matters and speaks for them in lower law courts.

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