If you’re considering a career in law, you’ll want to consider different aspects of the profession. Consider whether you’d prefer to work for a law firm or for yourself. There are plenty of ways to gain experience in both fields. A mini-pupillage or a placement at a solicitor’s firm are excellent options for gaining relevant experience. Other options include volunteering with a local Citizens Advice Bureau or Students’ Union, or attending local court hearings. You can also enter commercial awareness competitions and take online courses.
Barristers are legal professionals who are independent from their clients, whereas solicitors work for firms. In most cases, solicitors handle cases first, and they often coordinate with barristers. Barristers are trained in court advocacy and cross-examining witnesses. They typically represent one party in disputes, but their duties are often more similar than they are different.
Solicitors charge their clients on a time-spent basis, while barristers typically work on a fixed fee. Some barristers, however, work on a per-hour basis. It is therefore important to know the differences between barristers and solicitors so you can make a well-informed choice.
Barristers and solicitors are both regulated by the Law Society of Hong Kong. Their practising certificates must be renewed every year. In Hong Kong, some solicitors are also admitted to practice as notaries public. These notaries are appointed by the Chief Justice. While the difference between these two professions is not insurmountable, the difference between them should not be underestimated.
Solicitors are independent professionals, while barristers are employees of a law firm. While barristers have more experience and are usually more senior, solicitors can easily overshadow more experienced barristers. As a result, it is difficult to draw a clear line between barristers and solicitors. The primary difference between solicitors and barristers is their professional roles, with solicitors working as office-based lawyers while barristers work in court. Generally, solicitors do not need to employ secretaries and staff to conduct their practice. Solicitors generally communicate directly with clients, and they often chase up payments personally.
The government, for example, offers a number of in-house training schemes for solicitors and barristers. These schemes give trainees more exposure to the courts and tribunals, and allow them to build their caseloads gradually. However, these opportunities are not always publicised.
There are alternative career paths for solicitors and barristers that use the legal knowledge they acquire. These include HR, marketing, and finance. For those with a strong interest in legal work, a career as a paralegal or legal executive may be an excellent choice.
Many lawyers have worked in other businesses, and some have even set up their own companies. While the conventional business route may not be for everyone, it can be a great way to earn extra cash, expand your network, and become a trusted advisor in the industry. If you’re shy or an introvert, you might find working in a group environment more appealing.
A lawyer can also pursue a career in investment banking. This is a challenging field, and will require a high level of creativity and analytical skills. A legal career in this sector is highly rewarding. The demands are similar to those of BigLaw, and the pay is highly lucrative.
Solicitors usually work in a private practice, although they can also join a large firm. Larger firms have more partners and offer a wider range of practice areas. They also often offer structured recruitment programmes and extensive infrastructures. Many large firms also run pro bono projects and offer ongoing legal education.
Work experience can give you invaluable insight into the working world and help you decide on the right career path. It can also give you an appreciation of the responsibilities that come with working in an area of expertise. This experience can also help you to develop employability skills, improve your confidence and develop self-discipline. Moreover, it can help you to understand your interests and personal attributes better.
It is advisable to try out various positions in various fields to understand the different aspects of a career. It is also a good idea to seek out internships that will give you hands-on experience in a particular field. However, it is important to note that some opportunities are only open at certain points in your career or education, and are closed during holidays.