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Legal Profession in the Medieval Times

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Kristian Brown

on 20 February 2014

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Transcript of Legal Profession in the Medieval Times

Legal Profession in the Medieval Times
(449-1485)

Types of "lawyers" during the
Middle Ages
Serjeants-at-law
: highest form of a lawyer; served as the King's servant(s) in legal matter.
Attorneys
: lawyers who prepared cases and overseen them through court for their clients.
Barristers-at-law
: Argued the case (did no work outside the courtroom like an attorney would)
Why did they need barristers?
Back in the Middle Ages, people were arguing over land all the time. These disputes led to the rising popularity of barristers, whom helped resolve the issue.
Early Barristers
Early in Medieval Times, local priests served as barristers. However, as time went on, people began to realize the high wages that could be earned through this profession.
"The King's Law"
A new guideline was established for law called "The King's Law". This meant that the King could make any law he deemed necessary legal and all citizens had to abide by the laws, no matter what they be!
Animals on Trial?
Yes, even animals were put on trial in this time period! Performing well in these animal trials actually would give a barrister a great reputation.
Most people believed that the animals should've just been killed after being accused and that there was no need for a trial, with the animal having no way to communicate with the barrister about the issue.
Life of a Barrister
There is no distinct living condition of a barrister because it varies a lot. Their clothing they wore depended on which social class they were born into and their housing was depended upon where they lived, how much money they started with, and whether you had other jobs such as farming.
Controversy?
During this time period is when the tainted image of legal professionals began. Their arguments were not liked by most citizens and some believed all lawyers got into this occupational field for the high wages (which was more true than false).
Controversy? cont.
However, barristers were well-respected at the time and did help create some laws that are still used to this day.
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