Are Barristers The Doctors Of The Legal Profession, And Solicitors The Nurses?

Avatar photo

By Alex Aldridge on

Last week there was outrage on The Student Room when a poster likened barristers to doctors and solicitors to nurses.

Out of the ensuing maelstrom emerged two points of broad agreement:

Barristers are cleverer than solicitors (“a barrister could do what a solicitor does, but not necessarily the other way round”).

But it’s easier to make megabucks as a solicitor (“Your chances of making it to the top of the pile and earning a ****load of money are much higher as a solicitor than as a barrister in my opinion.”).

Of course, it’s not that simple, with different types of barrister and solicitor – not to mention legal executive – outranking each other

In search of some definitive truth on the matter? Here’s Legal Cheek‘s power list (focusing on how lawyers rank at the point of entry to the profession):

1. Barrister at a top 20 chambers. The king of the jungle.

2. Solicitor at a magic circle firm. What lacks in cool makes up for in £££.

3. Solicitor at an elite human rights firm like Bindmans or Hickman and Rose. What lacks in £££ makes up for in cool.

4. Common law barrister. OK, employment/family disputes are a bit grubby, but still a barrister.

5. Corporate solicitor at biggish firm. Not exactly living the dream, but wonderful holidays.

6. Criminal barrister. Still sounds good at dinner parties. Shame about the Tesco value wine, though.

7. CILEX lawyer at biggish firm. On the up. Says “I think you’ll find that legal executives are lawyers” 50% less than this time last year.

8. High Street Solicitor. Hunted. Has terrible dreams featuring the Co-op and corpses.

9. Paralegal. Servant.

10. Unpaid intern “Voluntary Paralegal”. Slave.