Difference between Attorney and Lawyer
Key difference: An attorney is legally permitted to represent another person or act in his behalf. A lawyer had been trained in law, and can provide legal advice, practice law and conduct lawsuits.
Nowadays, the term attorney and lawyer are synonymous. Traditionally an attorney was a person who was legally permitted to represent another person or act in his behalf, whereas a lawyer could provide legal advice and had been trained in law. Lawyers can practice law and conduct lawsuits.
In everyday language the terms can be interchanged, as there is not much difference about the two. Basically, an attorney is qualified and licensed to represent a client in court. An attorney can act on the client’s behalf and plead or defend a case in legal proceedings, if they have a power of attorney for that client.
A lawyer, on the other hand, is someone who has been trained in law; hence he can conduct a lawsuit. So, a person who has attended law school, even such as a policy advisor or consultant to the government, is considered a lawyer. However, a lawyer can also conduct suits in court proceedings and represent clients in various legal instances, due to which the meaning between lawyer and attorney has blurred.
In the U.S., an attorney and lawyer are normally considered the same thing. In the U.K., there are attorneys, lawyers, barristers, and solicitors.
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