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The English legal profession comprises two different types of lawyer: barristers and solicitors. Traditionally, the two branches did different types of work. Today, this distinction is increasingly breaking down, but the terms ‘solicitor’ and ‘barrister’ still describe two different professionals, who each undergo a different training process and set of exams in order to qualify. The term lawyer, however, covers both.
Traditionally, the major difference between the work of the two branches was that solicitors dealt directly with clients, while barristers were usually called on by a solicitor where necessary, either to give advice on a detailed area of law, or to represent the client in court (just as patients usually see a GP first and are then referred to a specialist if necessary). In addition, only barristers could appear in the higher courts. However, changes made in the 1990s have broken down some of the differences between the two branches. Clients can now consult barristers directly without being referred by a solicitor, and solicitors can appear in all courts, provided that they have undergone a specialist training course (solicitors who do this are often known as solicitor advocates). In fact, although it is often believed that barristers do most court work, solicitors have always done a lot of criminal court work, because 95 per cent of criminal cases are heard in the magistrates’ courts, where the defendant is usually represented by a solicitor rather than a barrister.
Task 5. Translate the texts in written form .
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