What are the Differences Between Attorneys vs. Lawyers?

by  Adv. Priyanka Sampathy  




2 mins


Attorney Vs. Lawyer


The legal industry is vast and has many challenges, with thousands of terms to be introduced. Similarly, the paths of an attorney vs. a lawyer are also the same, but with different explanations. The similarities are present along with various types of diversity. The Attorney vs. lawyer is the most common question for individuals looking to acquire legal help.

In India, the terms attorney and lawyer are commonly used as synonyms, but both words have different meanings in the realms of the legal fraternity and jurisdiction. It is important to know the difference between attorneys vs. lawyers and their meanings to understand the whole process. 

What is the meaning of a lawyer?

  • A person who completes law studies and has a law degree is known as a lawyer. They are legal professionals who have acquired a Bachelor of Law degree (L.L.B. degree).
  • Lawyers can be of different types, such as barrister, solicitor, advocate, and Attorney. They are named differently as they are specialists in different fields and practice law in the diverse settings of attorneys vs. lawyers.
  • The point to be noted here is that a lawyer is not eligible sometimes and cannot always represent a client in a court of law. This acts as a basic difference between an attorney and vs. lawyer.

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What is the meaning of an advocate?

An advocate is a person who has also completed their studies and has a law degree. They have the eligibility to represent a client in a court of law. It is the major difference when debating in the context of attorneys vs. lawyers.

As per the Advocate Act, 1961 sec 2 (1) (a), the word “advocate” means an advocate entered into any role under the provision of the Advocate Act 1961. There are also various differences between an advocate and a lawyer

Basic differences between Attorney vs. Lawyers

A lawyer, in general, has less experience when compared to the context of attorneys vs. lawyers. 

Attorneys, on the other hand, have much experience and are capable of handling cases in the court of law as they are more experienced and licensed.

  • On the question of Attorney vs. lawyers, a lawyer is capable of researching cases and giving advice to the client regarding the case, but the lawyer might not necessarily represent them in court.
  • An attorney in the context of Attorney vs. law is on the beneficial side as they have the necessary additional qualifications to pass the AIBE. So it helps them to provide service to clients in every legal aspect. 
  • A lawyer is a term that is generally used to refer to multiple roles in the legal realm. The difference lies in the roles they can specifically perform. 
  • The most relevant difference between attorneys vs. lawyers is how they utilize their education for the clients who need it.
  • In India, law graduates who want to practice in a court of law will have to pass the All India Bar exams.
  • Advocates are those who have cleared their bar exam and are enrolled in the State Bar Council to practice law and represent clients.
  • In Attorney vs. lawyer, the advocate is much more experienced as they represent clients in court. Lawyers advise and resolve the issues outside court as they are less experienced and have yet to represent candidates in court.
  • Lawyers provide legal advice to their clients and have their own set of duties and responsibilities, whereas an attorney helps the client in different domains and pleads, trying to receive the best verdict possible in a court of law which is the difference between Attorney vs. lawyers.
  • The compensation or the charges in Attorney vs. lawyer are very much different. A lawyer’s charge is low when compared to an advocate, as they have less experience and may not attain the required knowledge. An advocate has a good grip and skill set in legal settings and is more qualified to mitigate a case on a client’s behalf.

    Our Legal Advisors Specialize In Various Fields, Helping You Understand The Roles And Responsibilities Of Attorneys And Lawyers In Different Legal Contexts

Meaning of an Attorney

  • The term Attorney is not commonly used in India. It generally refers to a provision, clause “power of attorney,” or refers to the attorney general of India. However, power of Attorney is not relevant in this context of Attorney vs. lawyer.
  • In India, these legal professionals are termed as an advocate who pleads, defends, and assists a client in a court of law. 
  • They also have different responsibilities and duties in legal terms, such as legal interpretation, legal advice, elaborating the client’s needs and requirements according to law, keeping records of client interaction, and legal exchange with professionals or any other invested third parties.

Legal professional specializations

Law professionals generally choose to specialise in specific subjects in law. They graduate and study accordingly to provide legal advice or mitigation in the specialised area of law. These popular specialisations are as follows:

  • Criminal law
  • General law
  • Family law
  • Real estate law
  • Tax law
  • Civil rights law
  • Labour and Employment law
  • Personal injury law
  • Immigration law
  • Corporate and business law

The overall training and knowledge are provided in law school; lawyers choose to study further in their area of specialization as they require to obtain more experience and knowledge of the specific domain. Attorneys provide their legal services for cases that fall under their specialization.

From Understanding The Legal Terminology To Choosing The Right Legal Professional For Your Needs, Our Legal Experts Are Here To Guide You


In different cases, clients are handled by specific professionals, such as attorneys vs. lawyers who are knowledgeable and have experience in that same field.

The person seeking guidance can contact such lawyers or advocates online or offline to know more about the legal services that can be obtained. Their expertise will help clients mitigate issues in a court of law or outside court, depending on the nature of the case.

Lawyers and advocates can help their potential clients to plead, settle and mitigate issues in court by providing them prompt services and acknowledgment. Every aspect is thoroughly enquired into and understood before steps are taken.

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy


5 | 163+ User Reviews

Priyanka Sampathy is a legal consultant who prioritises ethical and professional conduct while striving to achieve desired outcomes. With over 15 years of independent practice, she has significant expertise in handling legal cases. Her exceptional communication skills enable her to express arguments in a clear and persuasive manner, both in writing and verbally, in Hindi, English, and Telugu.

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