Attorney vs. Lawyer: What is the Difference?

Posted April 28th, 2021 by .

Categories: Legal Topics.

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There is barely any distinction made between the terms attorney and lawyer among citizens in the United States. However, the difference is very important to the bar association and to any client looking for legal representation. This article answers the question of attorney vs lawyer.

Some people prefer to represent their legal claims, while the majority would rather hire a professional practitioner to increase their chances of winning. One of the topmost concerns for the latter group is who to hire to represent them. 

Have you been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence? Contact an expert Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney to learn about your right to compensation.

Qualifications of Lawyers vs. Attorneys

To qualify as a lawyer, one must go through studies and training in US law and the judicial system. They can then specialize in an area of their choosing and provide legal advice to clients in that field. Not all lawyers take the bar exam, as this is usually a matter of personal choice and discretion.

The term attorney, as used in everyday conversation, is the abbreviated form of attorney-at-law. Attorney-at-law was first used in 1768 and refers to a practitioner in a court of law that is legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in court on the retainer of clients.

While an attorney must take and pass the bar exam as well as be approved to practice law in their jurisdiction, a lawyer may decide not to take the exam. An attorney also practices law in court while a lawyer mostly provides legal advice to clients.

Duties of a Lawyer

A lawyer may choose to offer their legal services in different fields, such as becoming a company consultant or government advisor. Such a lawyer does not represent clients in legal proceedings or argue cases in court because they have not taken the bar exam. They may, however, draft legal documents like wills and contracts.

Some instances where you may seek the assistance of a lawyer include:

  • Estate lawyer — When drawing a will or trust
  • Employment lawyer — When reviewing your employment contract
  • Corporate lawyer — When seeking advice on setting up a corporation
  • Family lawyer — When drawing up a prenuptial agreement

Duties of an Attorney

Power of Attorney, a legal document, gives an attorney the financial, legal, and medical rights to make decisions for their client’s interests. They can execute critical decisions on behalf of their clients as well as represent them in legal matters.

Some of the reasons you may hire an attorney include:

  • Tax attorney — You need representation against the IRS
  • Civil litigation attorney — You need representation in a civil lawsuit
  • Personal injury attorney — You want to negotiate compensation for injury-related damages
  • Medical malpractice attorney — You wish to sue a medical professional for malpractice

Talk to a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney

The difference between an attorney and a lawyer is a crucial one for those looking for legal representation. While both attorneys and lawyers have studied the law, not all lawyers are qualified to take on some attorney roles. It is advisable to discuss these differences with your legal representative before pursuing your claim.

Anthony Carbone, a passionate Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney, has been protecting the rights of injury victims in New Jersey for over three decades. If you have sustained injuries through another person’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone at 201-829-3805 to discuss your case.

Call Today! (201) 963-6000

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