Legal

Difference Between Lawyer and Attorney

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Main Difference

The main difference between Lawyer and Attorney is that a Lawyer is a person who is trained in law and legal advice and help, whereas Attorney is someone who is a member of the legal profession.

Lawyer vs. Attorney

A lawyer is someone who practices law and gives legal advice, whereas an attorney is a person who conducts business for his client or on behalf of another person. A lawyer is a person who gets a law degree from any law school but does not practice law, on the other hand, an attorney is a person who sits for the bar exam and after qualifying the test appoints as an attorney at law.

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A lawyer holds a law degree, but an attorney is someone who has qualified the bar exam. A lawyer can apply for disciples other than practicing law, such as in many areas of business and government work, whereas an attorney evolved at a point where one is qualified for giving legal advice and representing his client in the court.

A lawyer is someone who has studied law, but as he has not settled for the bar exam, he does not possess any license to practice law. Still, an attorney is someone who possesses the license after getting a professional doctorate degree, usually Juris Doctorate, by passing the bar exam.

A lawyer cannot offer legal advice or represent his client in court, but an attorney can give legal advice as well as represent his client in court. Any person with a law degree can be called as a lawyer but cannot be called as an attorney until he has passed the bar exam in the specific jurisdiction.

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A lawyer cannot satisfy the legal needs of the clients, but an attorney can.

Comparison Chart

LawyerAttorney
A lawyer is a person who has a law degree but cannot practice it.An attorney is a person who practices the law and represents his client in the court.
Practice Law
Cannot practice lawCan practice law
Representation of Client
Cannot represent the client in the courtCan represent a client in the court
Degree
Must have a law degreeMust have a law degree as well as a qualification in bar exam
Duties
To advice about a situationTo make decisions, legal and financial, for business and to argue cases in the court.
Areas Of Working
Work in areas of business and government etc.Work in courts
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What is Lawyer?

A person educated in law is called a lawyer. Any person who has got a law degree from any law school can be called a lawyer. A lawyer without passing the bar exam cannot practice law and represent his clients in court.

A lawyer can peruse many fields other than practicing law, such as in many areas of business, financial and legal advisory firms, and government works. Lawyers can only give legal advice to their clients, but they cannot argue for them in court.

Such an expert may offer legal direction, or might not. Any person having a law degree can consider himself as a lawyer but to work in his desired area of work, to practice law, and to manifest his clients in the court, he needs to pass the bar exam in specific jurisdictions.

Lawyers can apply to any legal academic or to any law graduate. Lawyers have a law degree, but they do not practice law; thus, it would be totally unethical to call themselves ‘attorney.’

Types

  • Public Interest Lawyers: They focus on helping society and representing the clients who cannot afford private legal representation.
  • Government Lawyers: They are authority lawyers for each feature of government, i.e., the federal government, and local state, etc.
  • Private Sector Lawyers: They were not working for state or government but work for set apart companies and law corporations.
  • Trial Lawyers: They are civil and criminal trial lawyers that provide legal advice.
  • Entertainment Lawyers: They focus on advising clients in the entertainment industry.

What is Attorney?

An attorney is an associate with the legal occupation. An attorney has the right to represent and argue for his client in the court. He is a licensed and qualified person to plead and defend a case in legal proceedings.

A person with a law degree and success in a bar exam of any specific jurisdiction can be called as ‘attorney.’ An attorney enjoys the privilege of practicing law and acting on behalf of another person’s interest.

The word attorney is derived from the Greek word “attorner,” which means an agent to be chosen by the client to act on his behalf. It is compulsory for the lawyers to sit the bar exam to achieve the power of attorney as they are the actual officers of the court.

An attorney is a person who is authorized to make transactions on behalf of another person. They can be considered as legal eagles that strive for a client’s interest.

Types

  • Divorce Attorneys: They help in splitting easily of a couple. Divorce law is an element under family law influence.
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys: They specialize in each and every aspect of the criminal process, i.e., investigation, charges, sentencing, and appeals.
  • Bankruptcy Attorney: They prepare your paperwork, guide you the whole procedure, and educate and advise you on what kind of bankruptcy to file for.
  • Civil Attorney: They represent the person who is being sued or suing someone.

Key Differences

  1. A lawyer is a person who studies law but cannot practice it, whereas an attorney is a person who studies law as well as can practice it.
  2. A lawyer only possesses a law degree, but an attorney also has a professional JD degree after sitting in a bar exam of specific jurisdiction.
  3. A lawyer cannot represent or argue for his client in the court, but an attorney enjoys the privilege of practicing law and making transactions on another person’s behalf.
  4. All lawyers cannot be referred to as attorneys, but all attorneys can be called lawyers.
  5. A lawyer cannot work in court, but in many areas of business and government firms, on the other hand, an attorney can work where he wants in court by passing the bar exam in a desired legal area.
  6. A lawyer can give legal advice in many firms and companies; on the contrary, an attorney has a medical, financial, and legal right to decide for the client’s interest.
  7. A lawyer is someone who provides instructions, while an attorney is someone who conducts business on another person’s behalf.
  8. A lawyer cannot perform all the functions of an attorney, but an attorney is able to carry out all the work of a lawyer.
  9. The lawyer cannot satisfy the legal needs of the clients, but the attorney can make sure that he makes financial, legal, and medical decisions for his client’s interest.
  10. A lawyer cannot argue or provide legal counsel on another person’s behalf, on the flip side, the attorney can argue and provide legal counsel.

Conclusion

A lawyer may know the law but cannot practice in the court, whereas an attorney can practice law for his client’s interest in the court.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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