Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Solicitor, the designation of a legal practitioner in the Courts Superior and Inferior. It was formerly restricted to practitioners in the Court of Chancery, "attorney" being the designation of a common law practitioner. By the Judicature Acts the term solicitor applies to all divisions of the Supreme Court. Solicitors are required to take out an annual certificate (£9 for London practitioners, £6 for country ditto); half these amounts only are payable during the first three years of their practice. They have previously to being articled to undergo what is known as the "preliminary examination," being on the several branches of general knowledge. Midway of their service (which is five years, except for university graduates, when it is three years only) they have to undergo an "intermediate examination," and before being admitted to pass the "final examination" on the several branches of law £80 stamp duty is paid on the articles of clerkship (formerly it was £120), and somewhat heavy fees on their admission to practice. Solicitors are officers of the court, which barristers are not. They (solicitors) are under stringent rules as to practice, and their conduct is subject to inquiry and control, the "Incorporated Law Society" having jurisdiction to consider and report to the courts thereon. In cases of flagrant misconduct they are liable to be struck off the rolls of the court; in lesser cases to suspension from practice for a certain term, and to costs occasioned by their misconduct. Their costs are subject to taxation by officers appointed for the purpose - in the Supreme Court "the masters" - and if a sixth part be taken off the solicitor has to pay the costs of taxation. This rule, however, only applies to costs between "solicitor and client," as it is termed, not to "party and party" costs.