Knowing the solicitors

A solicitor is a professional person who provides advice and represents clients in legal matters. In Ireland, a solicitor is a person who has been admitted to the solicitors’ profession by the Supreme Court. To become a solicitor, a person must successfully complete a professional legal studies course at either the King’s Inns or the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, be of good character and be a fit and proper person to be a solicitor.

A solicitor provides legal advice to clients and represents them in court. A solicitor can also act as a mediator between two parties to try to resolve a dispute. A solicitor can work in private practice, in a law firm, in the public sector or in industry.

The work of a solicitor can be divided into three main areas:

1. Giving legal advice

2. Drafting documents

3. Representing clients in court

A solicitor must be able to give clear and concise legal advice. This involves being able to understand a client’s problem, researching the law that is relevant to the problem and applying that law to the facts of the case. A solicitor must also be able to explain the law in layman’s terms so that the client can understand it.

A solicitor may be asked to draft a legal document such as a contract, a will or a deed. A solicitor must be able to draft these documents clearly and accurately.

A solicitor may be asked to represent a client in court. This involves advocating on behalf of the client and presenting the client’s case in the best light possible. A solicitor must be able to think on their feet and be quick-thinking in order to respond to the questions of the judge and the other side’s lawyer.

A solicitor must be able to work well under pressure and to deadlines. A solicitor must also be able to work well as part of a team.

A solicitor must have good communication skills. A solicitor must be able to communicate with clients, other lawyers, judges and court officials. A solicitor must be able to communicate in writing and orally.

A solicitor must have good interpersonal skills. A solicitor must be able to build good working relationships with clients and other lawyers.

A solicitor must have good research skills. A solicitor must be able to find the relevant law quickly and efficiently.

A solicitor must have good time management skills. A solicitor must be able to organise their work in order to meet deadlines.

A solicitor must have good IT skills. A solicitor must be able to use a computer and the internet for research and email.

A solicitor must have good commercial awareness. A solicitor must be aware of the business environment in which their clients operate.

A solicitor must have good business development skills. A solicitor must be able to identify new business opportunities for their firm.

A solicitor must have an understanding of ethics. A solicitor must be able to act in the best interests of their client and in accordance with the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct.