While practising law and progressing up the career ladder, you’ll always want to serve your clients with the highest standard of professionalism, enhancing your skillset wherever possible. However, in order to do so, certain situations may call for you to be able to operate within a Crown Court and High Court for civil or criminal proceedings. Yet, to represent clients in these courts, you’ll need to be granted rights of audience, which you cannot do without gaining a Higher Rights of Audience (HRA) qualification in either civil or criminal law. A HRA qualification can allow you to truly transform you career, and here’s how.
Start your HRA early
There are very few restrictions in place regarding a HRA course, making it an accessible option for solicitors at most stages of their careers. There’s even an option for trainee solicitors to take on this module during Professional Skills Course (PSC) training, provided they have passed the advocacy module of their LPC. Keeping this module option front of mind at the early stage can ensure that steps are taken towards higher court status prior to official qualification.
Gain greater professional status
Although the option to qualify as a higher court advocate was initially introduced in 1994, the number of solicitor advocates in the UK remains relatively low, with 6,792 registered with the SRA as of May 2018. In comparison, this number still trails behind barrister statistics, with 16,435 practising barristers registered in 2017. However, this qualification should not be overlooked or undervalued as it can help to create a greater professional status for practising solicitors, allowing you to undertake cases in the higher civil and criminal courts across England and Wales. Plus, this can also help to bolster potential earnings for you and your firm and build a better reputation within the legal community.
Grow your service offering
As a legal professional, your clients should be your first consideration and through the HRA qualification, you can bolster your client offering to ensure that you are providing a well-rounded service. Through the completion of this accreditation, solicitors are able to handle all aspects of litigation work on behalf of clients and are allowed to appear in a higher court thereby reducing the necessity for your clients to seek additional legal advice from barristers. Not only can this help to streamline communications between solicitors and clients by reducing any time-wasting, but it can also help to reduce potential costs for clients, helping to make legal proceedings more attainable for all.
Enhance your personal skills
As is the case with most training courses, the HRA course can help you to enhance your wider personal and professional skills, including communication and case management skills, alongside the expected enhanced advocacy. Consistently developing these skills with external resources can help to aid your professional performance and can support the growth of client relationships.
Ultimately, a HRA qualification is valuable to any solicitor involved with advocacy work and will provide you with the ability to represent your clients in the higher courts. Not only can this benefit your clients and the overall management of cases, but it can also help to transform your career, helping you to expand your professional arsenal even further. For more information about our upcoming HRA courses, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on: 02920 451 000