typically be University graduates who go on to complete a Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and are then "called to the bar” by one of the Inns. After that they must complete "pupillage" which entails working with a qualified barrister.
Barristers have a right of audience - (that is, a right to represent persons) - in all tribunals and courts within England and Wales and also in the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Not all barristers actually practise in the courts. Many are employed in government, local government, or in business.
Legal executives can become "Legal Excutive Advocates" and then have certain rights of audience. They can also become eligible for certain judicial appointments.
QCs are sometimes referred to as "Silks" because they wear a gown of silk. 120 new QC were appointed on 1st March 2011.
Judges - In England and Wales, the judges are appointed from the ranks of the legal profession. This contrasts with some continental countries which have a career judiciary. A future post will look at the judges in more detail.