A Solicitor is an attorney that typically restricts his or her practice to offer legal advice and the Solicitor does not normally litigate. In England and some other Commonwealth jurisdictions, there is a a legal difference between solicitors and barristers.
British lawyer who advises clients, represents them in the lower courts, and prepares cases for barristers to try in higher courts. The education required of a solicitor includes a law school course and five years of apprenticeship with a practicing solicitor. In the U.S. the solicitor general represents the federal government in court, especially the Supreme Court of the United States.
Duhaime Legal Dictionary
A lawyer that restricts his or her practice to the giving of legal advice and preparation of formal legal documents, and does not normally litigate.
n. an English attorney who may perform all legal services except appear in court. Under the British system, the litigator or trial attorney takes special training in trial work and is called a "barrister." Occasionally a solicitor becomes a barrister, which is called "taking the silk." In the United States and Canada attorneys are referred to interchangeably as solicitors or barristers.
Lect Law Library
SOLICITOR - A person whose business is to be employed in the care and management of suits depending in courts of chancery.
A solicitor, like an attorney, will be required to act with perfect good faith towards his clients. He must conform to the authority given him. It is said that to institute a suit he must have a special authority, although a general authority will be sufficient to defend one. The want of a written authority, may subject him to the expenses incurred in a suit.
The Free (Legal) Dictionary
England has two types of practicing lawyers: solicitors and barristers. Unlike the United States, where a lawyer is allowed to handle office and trial work, England has developed a division of labor for lawyers. Solicitors generally handle office work, whereas barristers plead cases in court. However, there is some overlap. Solicitors may appear as legal counsel in the lower courts, and barristers often prepare trial briefs and other written documents. Barristers depend on solicitors to provide them with trial work because they are not allowed to accept work on their own.
The distinction between solicitors and barristers was originally based on their roles in the English court system. Solicitors were lawyers who were admitted to practice in Equity courts, whereas barristers were lawyers who practiced in common-law courts. The modern English judicial system has abolished this distinction. Barristers may appear in legal and equitable court proceedings, and solicitors handle out-of-court lawyering.
The role of the solicitor is similar to that of a lawyer in the United States who does not appear in court. The solicitor meets prospective clients, hears the client's problems, gives legal advice, drafts letters and documents, negotiates on the client's behalf, and prepares the client's case for trial. When a court appearance appears inevitable, the solicitor retains a barrister on the client's behalf. The solicitor instructs the barrister on how the client wishes to proceed in court.
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter apart from conducting proceedings in courts (advocacy), with some exceptions. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers, and a lawyer will usually only hold one title. However, in Canada, New Zealand and some Australian states, the legal profession is now for practical purposes "fused", allowing lawyers to hold the title of "barrister and solicitor" and practice as both. The distinction between barristers and solicitors is, however, retained.