Morag Duffin

Morag Duffin

I am Head of Access and Participation at the University of Law. My role involves supporting students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds to access, succeed in and progress from HE.


  • Hi Olga, thanks for the question. A barrister can work for either the prosecution or the defence. I hope that helps. Morag

  • @MichelleG excellence advice Michelle. Using the search function on online documents, and using the contents page or index can help you answer certain questions quickly and easily without having to read the whole document.

  • Hi Isabel. Yes if you already have an undergraduate degree and would like to change career then the GDL is the best option for you. You can do the MA Law, which is a masters level qualification which includes the GDL and a few extra modules to make it a Masters level qualifcation. The difference between the MA Law and the GDL is that with the MA Law you may be...

  • Hi Frederick, yes this is very specific to the UK system, in other countries there is less of a distinction and it really depends on the job that people are doing. It sounds like that is the case in Nigeria.

  • Yes Geraldine, the solicitor/barrister distinction is very much specific to the UK. But it sounds like in the US lawyers do tend to specialise in different areas depending on their abilities and skill set.

  • Hi Francis, yes that is correct solicitors tend not to present cases in court. They normally work behind the scenes with clients, and then a barrister will present the case in court before a judge. Solicitors can speak in Magistrates' courts, and there are some solicitors called 'solicitor advocates' who can speak in the same courts as barristers. They have to...

  • Hi Jennifer. Yes you are right that students will still be expected to find their own work experience, but I am hoping that will become easier as it no longer has to be an official 'training contract' and students will be able to carry out shorter stints of relevant work experience at different firms to piece together to meet the requirements. So yes you are...

  • Hi Alison - you are right that there were no examples here of people going into law later in life, but there are definitely many of them! At the University of Law a significant number of our students count as 'mature' students. Many have changed career to Law in their 30s, 40s or even 50s.

  • Hi Jennifer, this is one reason why the SRA is implementing the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam to replace the LPC. Law students will have more opportunity to take part in legal work experience as part of their journey to qualify as a lawyer. For more information about the SQE please go to the SRA's website.

  • Hi Enoch - yes this content is specific to the legal sector in England. The situation in other countries could well be very different, but unfortunately we do not have the space to fit it this course.

  • Hi Vanda, I would recommend using the contents to only read the sections which might be useful to answer the questions. You don't need to read the entire document.

  • Hi Timara, try using the contents to only read the sections which might be useful to answer the questions.

  • Yes Heather common sense is also key!

  • That is right Alison, the example shows different ways to negotiate.

  • Hi Giuseppe, yes they are all necessary! This task was just to get you thinking about the different relevant skills and see other peoples' responses.

  • Yes that's right Helen, the job does require all these skills.

  • You are right Ann. It looks like a lot of people on this course have chosen Analytical as the top skill in their opinion, but all the skills listed above are important. It is very difficult to choose a top one!

  • Hi Faiza, in the next step there is a presentation on the differences between barristers and solicitors, so please do watch that and let me know if you have any further questions.

  • Hi Athene - medical law is an area of law in its own right. You can study Masters level qualifications specialising in medical law, and also practise specifically in medical law.

  • Hi Andrew - legal executives work with solicitors rather than barristers so would fit in more on the solicitor route.

  • Hi Paul - yes this distinction is very much a part of English Law. In Canada it may well be the case that you can be both a barrister and a solicitor.

  • Hi Hanna, the distinction between barristers and solicitors is very much specific to English Law. In Ukraine you may well have a very different legal system, with different roles for lawyers.

  • Hi Mumta - barristers may work on a particular case for a longer period of time, but in general their cases tend to be shorter than a solicitor who could work on a project for years.

  • Hi Andrew - yes the role of solicitor advocate does still exist. A solicitor advocate is someone who is fully qualified as a solicitor but has gained the same right of audience as a barrister by obtaining an extra qualification. This allows them to represent their clients in certain courts.

  • Hi Andrew. Legal executives do some of the same things as qualified lawyers and they work closely alongside solicitors much of the time. There are certain activities that a legal executive cannot do, that only a qualified lawyer can do. Most legal executives work in private law firms, in government or as in-house counsel for businesses.

  • Hi Hanna, yes you are correct. The explanation here is very specific to English Law. Lawyers can have very different roles in other countries, some may do a mixture of the work of solicitors and barristers for example.

  • Hi everyone - lovely to hear from you all and great that so many of you are interested in learning more about law and how to become a lawyer!