Solicitors are legal professionals with a general duty to advise their clients on matters of law. Solicitors are regulated and represented by the Law Society (see: Law society). Until recently, solicitors did not have rights of audience in court (see: Right of audience); this job was reserved for barristers (see: Barrister). There are other traditional differences between barristers and solicitors (see: Barrister-solicitor distinction).
Solicitors are eligible to serve 'on the Bench' (i.e., as a judge) as well as barristers. For example, a solicitor in practice for 10 years is eligible to serve as a Recorder (see: Recorder); after 7 years a solicitor may be appointed a stipendiary magistrate (see: Magistrate). At the time there is one solicitor serving as a judge in the High Court.