Scotland has its own legal system, so entry into the legal profession in Scotland is distinct to that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Advocates in Scotland perform the same role as barristers in England.
An advocate is often self-employed and specialises in a particular area of law. An advocate's job entails preparing cases for court where they will present cases in the Scottish law courts and represent clients. Advocates present cases in Scotland’s courts, mostly at the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session, and also in other decision-making bodies such as tribunals. Solicitors present you with the cases and clients they need you to represent in one of these courts.
On completion of your undergraduate degree, you must take the one year Diploma in Legal Practice course in order to qualify to practice law in Scotland.
You are encouraged to complete a two-year solicitor's traineeship so that you can qualify and practise for some years as a solicitor before going to the 'Bar'.
At present, after completing an LLB and the full-time Diploma in Legal Practice, it is necessary to undertake a period of full-time training (usually 21 months) in a solicitor's office approved by the Faculty of Advocates.
After you have been formally admitted by the Faculty of Advocates as an Intrant (trainee advocate) and passed certain examinations, there comes a further 8-9 month period of unpaid practical training ('devilling') with an experienced advocate (a 'devilmaster') and a competency assessment.