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Professors of the LawBarristers and English Legal Culture in the Eighteenth
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David Lemmings

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207214.001.0001

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The Work of the Bar and Working Life

The Work of the Bar and Working Life

(p.24) 2 The Work of the Bar and Working Life
Professors of the Law

David Lemmings

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the work of the bar and working life of a barrister. Eighteenth-century barristers were formally distinguished from other types of lawyers by their rank at the inns of court, which gave them a crucial monopoly of audience before the royal judges who presided in the common law courts. Thus advocacy in Westminster Hall and at the assizes was naturally their specialist function. The discussion sketches their out-of-court work, as well as describing their distinctive role in litigation. Two images stand out in the daily accounts of barristers at work. First, they presented themselves as typically busy, hardworking men, who pursued their profession with vigour and determination. Secondly, barristers who were advocates and counselors, Westminster practisers, and circuiteers were compelled to lead a mobile, sometimes itinerant existence, working for a time in one place before moving on or moving back somewhere.

Keywords:   advocacy, Westminster, barristers, pleading, litigation, counselling

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