Lawyer and attorneys are common phrases in the legal realm. Most of the time, these terms are used interchangeably as referred to as the same thing/person.  

Most people do not really understand if these terms are the same or not, the fact is if I wouldn’t be a lawyer I wouldn’t understand too.

You may have questions like is an attorney and a lawyer the same thing? or Is There a Difference between Lawyer and Attorney? I have decided to write this post to give you the ultimate answer to those questions.

Generally the words lawyer and attorney are commonly used in the USA. In the UK you may find words like Barristers and solicitors and in other countries, you may find words like lawyer and Advocate

Difference between lawyer and attorney: Ultimate Explanation



Lawyer and Attorney

The following is how the words lawyer and attorney differs in the legal profession

A lawyer

Lawyer is a general term. It represents everyone in legal professions. Depending on the law of a specific country, it may include, judges magistrates, prosecutors, state attorneys, etc. 

Lawyer is a person who holds a special qualification related to law. For example, Diploma in law, a certificate in law, Bachelor of Laws, and law school.

A lawyer has knowledge in several legal issues and he/she can provide advice and legal aid but he/she cannot necessarily act on behalf of someone else.

However, In the USA a lawyer also conducts suits in court proceedings and represents clients in various legal instances, the term has expanded to overlap the definition of attorney. 

Attorney

According to dictionary.com the word attorney comes from French meaning ‘one appointed or constituted’ and the word’s original meaning is of a person acting for another as an agent or deputy.

Attorneys are also recognized as lawyers. But the very key element which may distinguish an attorney from other lawyers is the ability to act on behalf of another person.

UK position

As I said earlier, while USA use lawyer and attorney in the UK the common terms relating to lawyer and attorney is Barristers and solicitors

Barrister vs solicitor

Barrister is the lawyers who represent clients in open court and may appear at the bar while  solicitors are the lawyers  who may be permitted to conduct litigation in court but not to plead cases in open court alternatively they just spend most of their time to do other law firms' work.

Solicitors provides specialist legal advice on contentious and non-contentious work to their clients on a variety of areas of law.

When we will relate this to the USA context, Barrister=attorney, and solicitor=lawyer.

Lawyer vs. advocate

There might be a confusion here, but generally, an advocate is a lawyer who can act on behalf of the other person same as attorney/barrister while a lawyer represents everyone in legal professions not necessarily capable of acting on behalf of others.

Conclusion
My journey here was to tell you the difference between a lawyer and attorney .hope you find this post useful. The bottom line is

The words lawyer and attorney are commonly used in the USA. In the UK you may find words like Barristers and solicitors and in other countries, you may find words like lawyer and Advocate

A lawyer is a general term refers to any person in the legal profession, while an attorney is a term specifically refers to the person who practices law by acting on behalf of their clients.

In the USA the term lawyer and attorney may mean the same thing.

In the UK barrister represent clients in open court and may appear at the bar while solicitors spend most of their time doing other law firms' work.

Advocate is the lawyer who can act on behalf of the other person.

Attorney/Barrister/advocate are similar while solicitor/lawyer are similar too.

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