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Qualified Lawyer?

(21 Posts)
SocksRock Thu 26-Jun-14 20:41:44

If someone claims to have qualified as a lawyer, what does this actually mean? Is there any way to check this if they are not currently practising? I don't know how lawyer registration works, or what you need to call yourself a lawyer.

This is to do with someone using their qualifications to browbeat a friend of mine "I am a qualified lawyer, don't you know, don't you think I know best?"

I have some suspicions that they may not be totally above board, but have no way of proving this.

This is a name change as I don't wish the person I'm having doubts about to come across this...

JuniDD Thu 26-Jun-14 20:47:03

If they're a solicitor they should be on the roll. You can check this on the Solicitors Regulation Authority. I'll try to find the link.

I don't know how to search for barristers or legal executives. I don't think many people qualified into one of the professions would call themselves a "lawyer" though, not in the UK.

JuniDD Thu 26-Jun-14 20:49:35

This is it You can put their name in to search the roll.

Leeds2 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:53:08

Remember that they may be registered under a maiden/different name.

Agree if they are a solicitor they should be on the SRA website (go to the 'pro' search bit)

I am a solicitor but do often refer to myself as a lawyer but mainly because I work In house with legal people from all over the world so easier to say lawyer as a catch all rather than someone saying they are an advocat (French), attorney (US) etc etc plus some barristers don't continue as court lawyers and just work as generalists too so we have a lot of them.

So it might not be sinister.

You could ask them if they are a barrister or solicitor/ where they did their articles/training contract/pupillage if you want to catch them out (and they are UK based).

CakeMakesEverythingBetter Thu 26-Jun-14 21:06:21

The term 'lawyer' doesn't actually mean anything in England (are you in England?) 'Qualified lawyer' means even less. It is just a catch all term for anyone and everyone. Even a law student is a lawyer. I am a solicitor and would usually refer to myself as such. I worked bloody hard to get that title, I'm damned if I'm not using it!

SocksRock Thu 26-Jun-14 21:12:42

Yes, I'm in England. This is a man I have doubts about, so probably not using a maiden name but could possibly be using a different name I guess.

They are not listed on the link given above, but I am right in thinking that this just means that they aren't currently registered...

This person does a completely different job now, but won't give up going on about being a "qualified lawyer" and therefore entitled to ride roughshod over everyone else's opinion. I also have professional qualifications, but these are deemed inferior to being a qualified lawyer...

Might try asking about university to see if that elicits anything definitive. I assume a lawyer will need a law degree?

Atlastadragon Thu 26-Jun-14 21:12:58

I am a solicitor but my job (as an in house lawyer) does not require me to hold a practising certificate, but I apply every year to keep my name on the roll of solicitors.

Atlastadragon Thu 26-Jun-14 21:15:14

No, you don't need a law degree, you can convert your degree by doing a one year course (can't remember what it is called). Then to be a solicitor or barrister you have to do the relevant course and then a training contract or pupillage. Legal executives are different and train on the job so to speak.

schmee Thu 26-Jun-14 21:16:44

You are right in thinking that it just means they aren't currently registered... By a "qualified lawyer" he could mean that he completed a legal practice course, or that he completed a training contract (he would have gone onto the roll after this I think).

It sounds like he is being a twat though. He may well be a qualified lawyer, but unless you are dealing with a point of law, that really means jack shit.

Atlastadragon Thu 26-Jun-14 21:17:14

I think it's called a common professional exam or CPE as he may call it if he is genuine. Unless things have changed since I qualified 20 years ago (jeez, how the hell did that happen?)

Tablefor4 Thu 26-Jun-14 21:18:45

Atlastadragon do you not need a PC if you are an in house lawyer? I have just gone inhouse, but thought I do need a PC?

OP: a lawyer could be a barrister or legal executive or no longer on any of the rolls. Frankly he just sounds like an arse.

SocksRock Thu 26-Jun-14 21:21:39

Oh, I don't think there is much doubt he is a twat. That's probably obvious from what I've said! And I guess it doesn't matter too much, but people do defer to him because of this and it annoys the bejesus out of me. Even when I know I'm right (my professional quals have a small, very subject specific legal part), he just doesn't listen.

Guess I shall have to go on huffing and rolling my eyes.

Zamboni Thu 26-Jun-14 21:21:51

It's also called the GDL (graduate diploma in law).

I wonder if he's done his BVC (bar school for barristers) and been admitted to the bar but not practised since or whether he has done his LPC (legal practice course, law school for solicitors) but not taken the next step of a training contract and admission to the roll.

Chunderella Thu 26-Jun-14 21:25:34

'Lawyer' isn't a protected term so it can have a lot of meaning. I would tend to think of 'qualifying' as attaining the standards for one of the professions, so a solicitor or a barrister, or I guess a legal exec. Not a paralegal or caseworker because you don't need a qualification to do either of those jobs, unless you work in an area that does require some kind of accreditation. Eg I work in immigration law and to do legal aid in that area, you need to pass exams- so someone who does that is arguably a qualified lawyer because they practice law and has a qualification in the area.

From a solicitor perspective- which I am- I would say someone's 'qualified' when they finish their training contract and are accepted onto the roll of solicitors, even if they don't stay on it. I worked in the advice sector for a while without practicing certificate, and actually forgot to renew my registration while on maternity leave, so there were a couple of months when I wasn't on the roll. I would still have considered myself a qualified lawyer though, if I'd remembered- just not appropriately paperworked.

Atlastadragon Thu 26-Jun-14 21:35:38

Tablefor4 I am in house working for a government department, so am exempt under the solicitors act (I have just done my roll renewal online!).

happygirl87 Fri 27-Jun-14 07:32:49

Surprised by some of the responses on here- I recently qualified as a solicitor (actually am coming up to 1yr PQE now!) and would definitely assume it means you've done your degree/law conversion, your lpc (also known as solicitor's finals) and have been admitted to the roll, so are now a solicitor of England and Wales (if in this country). A lot of my friends/colleagues etc talk about qualification, and we all mean the same thing- experience is measured in years PQE, or post-qualification experience, so it's a pretty defined term IME. Agree with what was said up thread that solicitor is more common than lawyer, but that if you work with people abroad (as I do) it can be clearer.

happygirl87 Fri 27-Jun-14 07:34:39

Forgot to say, between solicitors finals and qualification you are a trainee for 2 years- some people drop out before/during/just after this and never qualify. Also the PQE measurement is used in recruitment etc- so a job will be advertised with a minimum PQE requirement. That's why I say its standard.

MrsJohnDeere Fri 27-Jun-14 07:51:46

Just asked dh (a solicitor) . 'Lawyer' or 'Legal Counsel' are the norms for him and colleagues, rarely 'solicitor' . He has a lot of overseas clients who don't understand the term 'solicitor', apparently.

Suzietwo Fri 27-Jun-14 08:01:10

Surely anyone seeking to justify their superior views by means of their qualification is automatically pigeonholed a complete twat and the qualification or lack thereof becomes irrelevant?

Indeed, Suzie, indeed!

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