For majority of people, every legal professional has two names; lawyer and barrister.
Whenever they see any, it is either they call him/her a lawyer or a barrister, little did they know that they have been making an error all this while. Stop calling every lawyer you see a barrister this is because all barristers are lawyers but not all lawyers are barristers.
The big question is who is a barrister and why are all lawyers not barristers? The answers to these and more are the central component of this discussion
Who is a Lawyer?
A lawyer is basically any legal professional who can provide legal advice to an individual. It’s a general term for all legal professionals including solicitors, barristers, prosecutors, and judges.
A lawyer may be a solicitor but he or she is not a barrister. He may be a prosecutor but cannot at the same time be a judge. This means that lawyers are of different hierarchies, the most basic of which are the solicitors.
A solicitor is a lawyer who specializes in a specific area of law such as; criminal law, corporate law, civil law family law, e.t.c.
Solicitors provide legal advice to clients outside of the court, they don’t represent clients in actual courtroom briefing. They give legal advice, help in drafting legal documents.
Who is then a Barrister?
A barrister is a senior colleague to a solicitor. As explained by wikipedia.org, a is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. They mostly specialize in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Barristers give expert legal opinions on legal matters, they represent clients in superior courts and undertake the drafting of legal pleadings.
Having this understanding, it will therefore amount to disrespect on the office of a barrister for you to call a solicitor a barrister. Believe me, to become a solicitor is not what you can achieve without sweating but calling a solicitor a barrister is like giving the honor of the first to the last. All barristers are lawyers but not all lawyers are barristers.