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A solicitor is a
legal practitioner A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English la ...
who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s. A person must have legally-defined qualifications, which vary from one jurisdiction to another, to be described as a solicitor and enabled to practise there as such. For example, in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
a solicitor is admitted to practise under the provisions of the
Solicitors Act 1974 The Solicitors Act 1974 (c 47) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Cr ...
. With some exceptions, practising solicitors must possess a
practising certificateA practising certificate is a licence to practise a particular profession. In the legal professionLegal profession is a profession, and legal professionals study, develop and apply law. Usually, there is a requirement for someone choosing a career i ...
. There are many more solicitors than
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialis ...

barrister
s in England; they undertake the general aspects of giving legal advice and conducting legal proceedings. In the
jurisdictions Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the legal term for the authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. Colloquially it is used to refer to the geographical area (: locatio ...
of
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
and in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...
, in the
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
n states of
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
,
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
, and
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
,
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
(where they are called '' attorneys'') and the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
, the
legal professionLegal profession is a profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised ...
is split between solicitors and
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialis ...

barrister
s (called
''advocates''
''advocates''
in some countries, for example
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
), and a lawyer will usually only hold one of the two titles. However, in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
and the remaining Australian states and territories, the legal profession is now for practical purposes "
fused Fuse or FUSE may refer to: Devices * Fuse (electrical), a device used in electrical systems to protect against excessive current ** Fuse (automotive), a class of fuses for vehicles * Fuse (hydraulic), a device used in hydraulic systems to protect ...
", allowing lawyers to hold the title of "barrister and solicitor" and practise as both. Some legal graduates will start off as one and then also qualify as the other. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, the barrister–solicitor distinction does not exist at all.


Australia

Regulation of the profession in Australia varies from state to state. Admission to practise is state-based, although mutual recognition enables a practitioner admitted in any state or territory to practise in any other state or territory, or at the federal level. In all states and territories, solicitors have unlimited rights of audience and so can, at least in theory, practise as a solicitor, barrister or both. The formal names for admitted solicitors differs between jurisdictions. For example, in some jurisdictions, they are admitted as "legal practitioners", while in other jurisdictions they are admitted as "solicitors and barristers" The extent to which the profession is "fused" in practice varies from state to state. In general, however, there is a separate bar with its own professional body composed of those practitioners who adopt the traditional barrister's model of practice, i.e. working in chambers and undertaking advocacy work. In some states,
call to the bar The call to the bar (rarely, call to bar) is a legal term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative cont ...
requires different or additional training. A proportion of the other practitioners would practise as both solicitors and barristers, while still others would practise primarily or exclusively as solicitors. The relative sizes of the latter two categories differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.


England and Wales

Before the creation of the Supreme Court of Judicature under the
Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 The Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 (sometimes known as the Judicature Act 1873) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Leg ...
, solicitors practised in
equity Equity may refer to: Finance, accounting and ownership *Equity (finance), ownership of assets that have liabilities attached to them ** Stock, equity based on original contributions of cash or other value to a business ** Home equity, the differe ...
in the
Court of Chancery The Court of Chancery was a court of equity A court of equity, equity court or chancery court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal dispu ...

Court of Chancery
, attorneys practised in the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
courts, and
proctor Proctor (a variant of ''procurator Procurator (with procuracy or procuratorate referring to the office itself) may refer to: * Procurator, one engaged in procuration, the action of taking care of, hence management, stewardship, agency * ''Pr ...

proctor
s practised in the "civil law" (based on Roman law) of the
ecclesiastical courts An ecclesiastical court, also called court Christian or court spiritual, is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. In the Middle Ages these courts had much wider powers in many areas of Europe than befor ...
. The monopoly of the proctors in family, inheritance and admiralty law had been removed in 1857–1859, and the 1873 reforms further fused all three branches of the profession. After 1873 the offices of "attorney" and "proctor" disappeared as terms relating to legally qualified persons, being replaced by "Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales", except for the unique government offices of Queen's (or King's) Proctor (now called "HM Procurator-General", a title generally held by the
Treasury Solicitor The Government Legal Department (previously called the Treasury Solicitor's Department) is the largest in-house legal organisation in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United ...
), and Attorney-General. Since the replacement of the judicial aspect of the House of Lords with a new
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The Supreme Court (initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical ...
(in 2009), separate from the existing Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales, the full title of a solicitor is "Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales". The term "attorney" is however still used under English law to refer to someone legally appointed or empowered (who may but need not be legally qualified) to act for another person. Currently, the term is most commonly used to refer to someone so appointed under a "power of attorney". This may be a "general power of attorney"; a
lasting power of attorney Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) in English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by v ...
may be granted under the provisions of the
Mental Capacity Act 2005 The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (c 9) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Po ...
. Some practitioners in specialist professions, notably intellectual property, are also referred to as attorneys, for example registered patent attorneys, which is a separate qualification to that of a solicitor.


Solicitors and barristers

In the English legal system, solicitors traditionally dealt with any legal matter, including conducting proceedings in courts, although solicitors were required to engage a barrister as advocate in a High Court or above after the profession split in two. Minor criminal cases are tried in
magistrates' court#REDIRECT Magistrates' court A magistrates' court is a lower court where, in several jurisdictions Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages ...
s, which constitute by far the majority of courts. More serious criminal cases still start in the magistrates' court and may then be transferred to a higher court. The majority of civil cases are tried in county courts and are almost always handled by solicitors. Cases of higher value (£100,000 or above) and those of unusual complexity are tried in the High Court, and barristers, as the other branch of the English legal profession, have traditionally carried out the functions of advocacy in the
High Court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law systems, a superior court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between ...

High Court
,
Crown Court The Crown Court of England and Wales is, together with the High Court of Justice The High Court of Justice in London, known properly as Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice in England, together with the Court of Appeal of England and ...

Crown Court
and
Court of Appeal An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the Engl ...
. In the past, barristers did not deal with the public directly. This rigid separation no longer applies. Solicitor advocates with extended rights of audience may now act as advocates at all levels of the courts. Conversely, the public may now hire and interact with a barrister directly in certain types of work without having to go to a solicitor first as a result of the
Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the Unite ...
removing the monopoly of barristers to act as advocates and granting solicitors
rights of audienceIn common law, a right of audience is generally a right of a lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is ...
in specified circumstances. Solicitors now frequently appear in the lower courts and, subject to passing a test and thereby obtaining higher rights of audience, increasingly in the higher courts such as the
High Court of Justice of England and Wales High may refer to: People with the name * High (surname)High is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Jason High (born 1981), American mixed martial artist *Kathy High (born 1954), American interdisciplinary artist, curator, and sc ...
and the
Court of Appeal An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the Engl ...
. While the independent bar continued to exist in a largely unchanged state, a few firms of solicitors employed their own barristers and solicitor advocates to do some of their court work. The rules preventing barristers from being directly instructed were revised to allow direct instruction by certain organizations such as trade unions, accountants, and similar groups. Additionally, barristers who have completed the Bar Council's "Public Access" course can take instructions directly from members of the public under the
Public Access Scheme The Public Access Scheme (a.k.a. "Direct Access") allows members of the public in England & Wales to instruct a barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom ...
. Regulation of both barristers and solicitors was reviewed by
David Clementi Sir David Cecil Clementi (born 25 February 1949) is a British business executive and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. He was formerly the Chairman of the BBC. Clementi holds a number of board positions including chairman of inter ...
on behalf of the
Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Justic ...

Ministry of Justice
in 2004. He delivered his final recommendations in December 2004 which included proposals for a more unified regulatory system and new structures for cross-profession work. Many of his recommendations were enshrined in the
Legal Services Act 2007 The Legal Services Act 2007 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crow ...
. The breakdown in the strict separation between barrister and solicitor was expected to go further following recognition by the Act of the so-called "Legal Disciplinary Practice" (LDP) (from 31 March 2009) and "Alternate Business Structure" (ABS) (from 6 October 2011) bodies, which allow more flexibly structured legal practices.


Regulatory scheme

Solicitors in England and Wales who wish to practise must pay an annual fee to obtain a practising certificate. This fee is paid to the
Law Society of England and Wales The Law Society of England and Wales (officially The Law Society) is the professional association that represents and governs solicitors for the jurisdiction of England and Wales. It provides services and support to practising and training so ...
, which represents the profession. The
Solicitors Regulation Authority The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales. It is responsible for regulating the professional conduct of more than 125,000 solicitors and other authorised individuals at more than 11,000 fi ...
, though funded by these fees, acts independently of the Law Society. Together, the two bodies make up the complete system of professional regulation for solicitors. Complaints about solicitors, if not satisfactorily resolved by the solicitors' firm, may be made to the Legal Ombudsman.


Training and qualifications

The training and qualification required to enter the profession by being admitted as a solicitor is regulated by the
Solicitors Regulation Authority The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales. It is responsible for regulating the professional conduct of more than 125,000 solicitors and other authorised individuals at more than 11,000 fi ...
(SRA). There are two graduate routes of entry into the profession. Prospective solicitors holding a qualifying law degree proceed to studying the
Legal Practice Course The Legal Practice Course (LPC)also known as the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practiceis a postgraduate course, the final educational stage for becoming a solicitor A solicitor is a legal practitioner A lawyer or attorney is a person w ...
. Those holding a non-law degree must in addition have completed a conversion course prior to enrolling on the
Legal Practice Course The Legal Practice Course (LPC)also known as the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practiceis a postgraduate course, the final educational stage for becoming a solicitor A solicitor is a legal practitioner A lawyer or attorney is a person w ...
. Once the Legal Practice Course has been completed, the prospective solicitor usually must then undertake two years' apprenticeship, known as a
training contract A training contract is a compulsory period of practical training in a law firm A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at l ...
, with a firm entitled to take trainee solicitors. The Legal Practice Course and training contract can also be undertaken simultaneously although this is less usual. The training contract was formerly known as an articled clerkship. The SRA completed an extensive review of qualification routes into law that has brought about the introduction of the Solicitor Qualifying Examination (SQE). The new route was introduced from 1 September 2021 with the first examinations to take place in November of the same year. It is possible to qualify as a solicitor without having attended university by being admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, and thereafter completing the required number of years of practical experience, and studying for the Legal Practice Course. Although now on a downward trend, there is a large representation of lawyers in the UK with privately educated backgrounds. 37% of barristers and 21% of solicitors are from a private school background, compared to 7% of the overall UK population.


Overseas qualified lawyers

Lawyers qualified in foreign jurisdictions, as well as English barristers, can take the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) assessment, a fast-track route for qualification as an English solicitor which can be completed in a shorter or longer period of time, depending on the legal background of the candidate. There is no training or experience requirement under the QLTS, which comprises two assessments; a multiple choice test (180 multiple choice questions on 14 subject matters) and two practical assessments, the OSCE1 and OSCE2 which include nine written papers, three oral papers and three mixed written-oral papers on the most important areas of practice for solicitors (business law, probate, conveyancing, civil litigation, criminal litigation). The scheme is open to qualified lawyers in many
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
and
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
jurisdictions, such as the US, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Pakistan, all EU member states, as well as other countries.


Hong Kong

Hong Kong has maintained the distinction between solicitors, regulated by
The Law Society of Hong Kong The Law Society of Hong Kong is the professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) seeks to advocacy, further a particular profession, the interests o ...
, and barristers, regulated by the
Hong Kong Bar Association The Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) is the professional regulatory body for barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at ...
. A person intending to become a solicitor must have a professional law degree, either LL.B. or JD or the equivalent, and complete the one-year
Postgraduate Certificate in Laws The Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL; 法學專業證書) is an intensive one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) professional legal qualification programme in Hong Kong. It allows graduates to proceed to legal training before qualifyin ...
(P.C.LL.) course. They must also complete a two-year trainee solicitor contract with a law firm. All solicitors in Hong Kong are admitted to the High Court of Hong Kong and thus bear the full title of "Solicitor of the High Court of Hong Kong". Solicitors enjoy rights of audience in the lower court and in chamber hearings in the High Court. For hearings in open court in the
High Court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law systems, a superior court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between ...
and the
Court of Final Appeal The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (HKCFA or CFA) is the final appellate court of Hong Kong. It was established on 1 July 1997, upon the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong ...

Court of Final Appeal
, only solicitors who have been certified as solicitor advocates may appear.


Republic of Ireland

{{unreferenced section, date=September 2017 Solicitors in the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
are represented and regulated by the
Law Society of Ireland The Law Society of Ireland ( ga, Dlí-Chumann na hÉireann) is the educational, representative and regulatory body of the solicitors' profession in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. As of 2011, the Law Society had over twelve thousand members, all ...
. It was formally established by Royal Charter in 1852. The legislative basis for its current role is set out in the Solicitors Acts 1954–2002. In the Republic of Ireland, it is quite possible to become a solicitor without holding a law degree; a few practising solicitors have no degree of any kind. Instead, individuals sit professional examinations which are set at degree level standard and undertake an intense apprenticeship programme. The independence of most of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
in December 1922 as the
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of St ...
was marked more by continuity with the British legal system than with change. The Free State later became the Republic of Ireland in April 1949. The legal profession remained divided between
barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. Th ...
(or ''abhcóidí'' in
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
) and solicitors (or ''aturnaetha'' in Irish). There was some blurring of the distinction between their roles over the years. Notably, under Section 17 of the Courts Act 1971, solicitors were granted a right of audience in all courts, although in practice relatively few solicitors act as advocates for their clients in the Superior Courts.


Japan

In Japan, {{nihongo, attorneys at law, 弁護士, bengoshi, lit. "advocate" form the principal branch of the legal profession. ''Bengoshi'' undertake either or both advocacy work and advice or transaction work typically performed by solicitors in common law jurisdictions. Another branch of the legal profession, Shihō-shoshi' (司法書士), are specialists in registration procedures for real estate and incorporation. With certification by the Ministry of Justice, they are also authorized to represent clients in civil suits filed in courts of summary jurisdiction (with claimed amount up to ¥1.4 million).{{cite web, url=http://www.shiho-shoshi.or.jp/html/global/english/index.html, title=Shiho-Shoshi Profile, publisher=Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi's Associations, access-date=29 August 2016, url-status=live, archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160311172514/http://www.shiho-shoshi.or.jp/html/global/english/index.html, archive-date=11 March 2016 Although there are some parallels with modern solicitors in common law countries, "shihō-shoshi" is officially translated as "
judicial scrivener "Judicial scrivener" is a term used to refer to similar legal professions in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, ...
", reflecting the similarity of the role with the historical role of scriveners. In 2006, their professional body, Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi's Associations (日本司法書士会連合会) proposed that, in English, Shihō-shoshi be called "solicitor" and their organization "Japan Federation of Solicitor Associations", announcing that they would approach the government and other relevant parties to promote the use of the new translations. The government agencies, however, continue to use the traditional translation "judicial scrivener". Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi's Association itself has not (as of August 2016) officially changed its English name as proposed.


United States


Historical usage

Historically, solicitors existed in the United States and, consistent with the pre-1850s usage in England and elsewhere, the term referred to a lawyer who argued cases in a
court of equity A court of equity, equity court or chancery court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), s ...
, as opposed to an attorney who appeared only in courts of law. With the chancery or equity courts disappearing or being subsumed under courts of law, by the late 19th century members of the fused profession were called "attorneys", with "solicitors" becoming obsolete.


Modern usage

In modern American usage, the term solicitor in the legal profession refers to government lawyers. On the federal level, departmental solicitors remain in the Department of Labor, Department of the Interior, and the Patent & Trademark Office. The
Solicitor General of the United States The solicitor general of the United States is the fourth-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice. Elizabeth Prelogar has been serving in the role since October 28, 2021. The United States solicitor general represent ...
is the lawyer appointed to represent the federal government before the
United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the Federal judiciary of the United States, federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate and largely Procedures of the Supreme Court of the United ...

United States Supreme Court
. In various states, the title "solicitor" is still used by town, city and county lawyers. These states include Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and West Virginia. In
South Carolina South Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspap ...

South Carolina
, criminal trials in the state's judicial circuits are overseen by a "circuit solicitor" whose role is analogous to that of
district attorney In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, s ...
in most other states. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the professional organization for government lawyers was formerly known as the City Solicitors and Town Counsel Association.{{cite web, url=http://www.massmunilaw.org, publisher=Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association – The Bar Association of Massachusetts Municipal Attorneys, title=Home page, url-status=live, archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171106142755/http://www.massmunilaw.org/, archive-date=6 November 2017


Common meaning of solicitor

In the US, "solicitor" is also used to describe a traveling
salesman Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. The delivery of a service for a cost is also considered a sale. The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in ...

salesman
(with a pejorative connotation roughly equivalent to the British English word
tout A tout is any person who solicits business or employment in a persistent and annoying manner (generally equivalent to a ''solicitor A solicitor is a legal practitioner A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate ...
) as in the signed warning on public places of accommodation, "No Soliciting".{{cite book , last1=Newman , first1=Bernard , authorlink1=Bernard Newman (author) , title=Mr. Kennedy's America , date=1962 , publisher=H. Jenkins , location=London , page=35 , url=https://www.google.com/books/edition/Mr_Kennedy_s_America/YlIIAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=attorneys%20tout Signs bearing the phrase "No Soliciting" may appear near entrances to private residences in the US. In addition to warding off salesmen, these signs are also used to deter proselytizing by religious groups such as
Mormons Mormons are a religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different re ...
and
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious ...
with a history of door-to-door
canvassing Canvassing is the systematic initiation of direct contact with individuals, commonly used during political campaign A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group ...

canvassing
in the US.


See also

* Accredited specialist solicitor (Australia) *
Barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialis ...

Barrister
*
Conveyancer In most Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason ...
*
Legal executive Legal executives are a form of trained legal professional in certain jurisdictions. They often specialise in a particular area of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act ac ...
* Licensed conveyancer * Solicitor advocate *
Solicitor General A solicitor general or solicitor-general, in common law countries, is usually a legal officer who is the chief representative of a regional or national government in courtroom proceedings. In systems that have an Attorney general, attorney-general ...
*
Civil law notary Civil-law notaries, or Latin notaries, are lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat diff ...
, a similar position in the legal profession in civil law countries


References

{{Reflist


External links

{{wiktionary
The Law Society of England and Wales Directory Of Solicitors

The Irish Law Society Directory Of Solicitors
Law of the United Kingdom Legal professions Occupations Scots law general titles