A barrister is a term used in England and it refers to a legal professional with special responsibility for representing clients in the court system, rather than being a provider of general legal advice/services.
In English law, an attorney who has an exclusive right of argument in all the superior courts.
A barrister is a counselor who is learned in law and who has been admitted to plead at the bar. A barrister drafts the pleadings in all cases, with the exception of the simplest ones. Distinguished from an attorney, which is an English lawyer who conducts matters out of court, a barrister engages in the actual argument of cases or the conduct of the trial.
Duhaime Legal Dictionary
A litigation specialist; a lawyer that restricts to, or includes within, his or her practice, the court room and trial, or who makes Court appearances on behalf of his/her clients (such as the Canadian fella who writes this website, info pictured).
Also known as a trial lawyer.
In England and some other Commonwealth jurisdictions, a legal distinction is made between barristers and solicitors, the latter with exclusive privileges of advising clients, providing legal advice, and the former with exclusive privileges of appearing in a court on behalf of a client. In other words, solicitors don’t appear in court on a client’s behalf and barristers don’t give legal advice to clients.
One of the two types of practicing lawyers in England, the other being the solicitor. In general, barristers engage in advocacy (trial work) and solicitors in office work, but there is a considerable overlap in their functions. The solicitor, for example, may appear as an advocate in the lower courts, whereas barristers are often called upon to give opinions or to draft documents.
n. in the United States a fancy name for a lawyer or attorney. In Great Britain, there is a two-tier bar made up of solicitors, who perform all legal tasks except appearance in court, and barristers, who try cases. Some solicitors will "take the silk" (quaint expression) and become barristers.
A counsel admitted to plead at the bar and undertake the public trial of causes in an English superior court.
A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions that employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. In split professions, the other types of lawyers are mainly solicitors. Solicitors have more direct contact with the clients, whereas barristers often only become involved in a case once advocacy before a court is needed by the client. Barristers are also engaged by solicitors to provide specialist advice on points of law. Barristers are rarely instructed by clients directly (although this occurs frequently in tax matters). Instead, the client's solicitors will instruct a barrister on behalf of the client when appropriate.
The historical difference between the two professions—and the only essential difference in England and Wales today—is that a solicitor is an attorney, which means they can act in the place of their client for legal purposes (as in signing contracts), and may conduct litigation by making applications to the court, writing letters in litigation to the client's opponent and so on. A barrister is not an attorney and is usually forbidden, either by law or professional rules or both, from "conducting" litigation. This means that while the barrister speaks on the client's behalf in court, the barrister does so when instructed by a solicitor. This difference in function explains many of the practical differences between the two professions.
Many countries such as the United States do not observe a distinction between barristers and solicitors. Attorneys are permitted to conduct all aspects of litigation and appear before those courts where they have been admitted to the bar.