Attorneys and Solicitors
This chapter looks to the other branch of the legal profession: the attorneys and solicitors. Attorneys and solicitors dealt directly with the client and cover a vast range of legal matters, including wills, property transfers, and other affairs that usually do not need to be tested in court. Attorneys were much more numerous than barristers in Regency England. The social standing of attorneys relative to the gentry, the clergy, and other genteel professions was also open to doubt. They certainly lacked the prestige of barristers. Indeed, attorneys seemed little better than school-teachers or the better sort of shopkeeper: respectable enough in their way, but not a career for the younger sons of the gentry. However, as the chapter shows, attorneys were also considered a rather gentlemanly profession, and many gentlemen indeed prospered by becoming one.
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