Most people who are already in the legal system, they understand the differences between the US and the UK legal systems.
You should have in mind that when it comes to law, they share the same roots and that is why they are quite similar. However, some fundamental divergences will show you how the systems differ in practice:
1. Court Systems
In both countries court systems are identical. Special magistrate courts handle small civil disputes and minor criminal offenses.
In the United States, state courts take these cases. On the other hand, for the more civil severe claims and crimes, both countries subject the wrong side to a three-court hierarchy. In the US, many states have separate court systems. Cases start in the lower courts and move on the Courts of Appeals, and the final instance is the Supreme Court in evidence that it is necessary.
You should also have in mind that the United States has the tribunal system, similar to the UK for specific disputes. There are also different niche courts such as bankruptcy court as the separate type of federal court.
In the United States, both parties could agree to submit binding mediation or arbitration, which will serve as the alternative dispute in most cases. This will provide you more streamlined, and a less costly way to conclude any conflict.
2. Legal Authority
Similar as in the United Kingdom, US courts rely on past judicial opinions as the precedents for resolving litigations. We know them as cases, or opinions, while most people stopped using the "Law Report" phrase.
For legislation in the US, you will have two centralized federal bodies such as Senate and House of Representatives. If you want to make a law in the US, both entities have to approve it, and then the President has to sign it. In case that President refuses to do it, a two-thirds majority vote in Congress can override the veto.
The roles of lawyers in both countries are the same. In the US, there are no terms such as solicitors and barrister; instead, once you become a certified lawyer, you can start any law practice you want. Barristers are Litigators in the US, while solicitors are transactional or corporate attorneys with the specialization in particular area.
On the other hand, UK legal system differentiates notaries public from barristers and solicitors, which means that people have to finish the specific degrees and certification to obtain the specific license.
Dr. David James