Have you wondered why some lawyers are called as attorneys while others are not? Many times, people use one instead of the other without knowing the difference. In this article, we will help you understand the distinction between the two.
Who is a lawyer?
Any person who has gone through the law school is considered a lawyer. He may provide legal counsel or not. While every attorney is a lawyer, not every lawyer is an attorney according to the prevailing laws of the Bar associations in the United States. Lawyers can do many jobs in the legal world, but they cannot plead cases in the court and they cannot represent anyone in the court. But, they can act as a consultant or an advisor to an attorney in the court.
Who is an Attorney?
An Attorney at law is a person who has finished law school, cleared the bar exam and is now a member of the local bar association. He can represent people in court and argue cases. A lawyer has to pass the bar exam in a particular jurisdiction to be eligible to join the local bar. He is the person you approach when you need representation in the court.
Apart from the attorney and lawyer, there are other terms like the barrister and solicitor. These two are most commonly used in the United Kingdom and some of the Commonwealth countries.
In a broad sense, a solicitor means the same as an attorney at law. A barrister is a lawyer who specialises in litigation and advocacy. They are considered to be legal scholars and do not have any direct interaction or transactions with clients. In many Commonwealth countries, the term barrister is considered to be an honorific title.
Each legal jurisdiction has its own terms equivalent of a lawyer and the attorney with a clear difference in the roles.