You don’t need to have a legal background to be aware that there must a difference between a lawyer and an attorney, but maybe you never had time to search for it. It is why this article will bring you some bullet points and help you in further understanding of the differences between these two legal categories. After reading it, I guarantee you will remember them for the rest of your life. Of course, don’t forget that these differences are not big, so if you use the terms interchangeably in everyday conversation, it is ok. However, for some professional purpose, you must know the difference. All in all, I hope that those who don’t have a legal background will never have to deal, either with lawyers or attorneys, knowing that cases in which you need to call them are usually not pleasant. But, let’s start.

  1. You become a lawyer by graduating from the law school

As simple as that; you attend the law school, you graduate, and you get the “lawyer” title. So, basically, lawyers can provide legal advice, as they are trained all about laws. However, lawyers cannot represent you in courts, if they haven’t passed the bar exam in the specific legal areas.

  1. Attorneys are also lawyers, but…

You can probably guess; in order to become an attorney, you must pass the bar exam, which makes you eligible to practice law within a specific jurisdiction. This is the main difference between a lawyer and an attorney. But of course, that’s not everything.

  1. There is also a difference between an attorney-at-law and attorney-in-fact

The moment you think you have understood the difference between a lawyer and an attorney, I advise you not to rush, because there are some other things to learn in this case. It is why I haven’t studied law! Apparently, there is an attorney-at-law, who is licensed to practice law and represent people in court, while an attorney-in-fact can be appointed by the represented party to handle their legal affairs. Still confused, right? Wait for more.

  1. There are more confusing terms in the legal world

Well, if you thought that learning a difference between a lawyer and an attorney, and later improving the knowledge by learning to differentiate attorney-at-law and an attorney-in-fact will be enough, I need to say, you are wrong. In the UK, for example, there are also terms such as barristers, solicitors, and esquires. Barristers represent clients in open court and may appear at the bar, while solicitors cannot plead cases in open court, but they can conduct litigation. Both barristers and solicitors can be marked as esquires, as it is a title of respect, but also an honor bestowed upon doctors and Ph.D. graduates.

  1. Relax, you don’t need to know everything

Seriously. Unless, of course, you want to study law one day. In that case, you will have to know a difference between a lawyer and an attorney and hundreds of other differences and definitions. Otherwise, you can enjoy and be happy in your ignorance.

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