Difference between attorney and lawyer
Attorney vs Lawyer:
Because of the blatant similarity of these two terms, one often tends to confuse these two terms. Yet, an Attorney and a lawyer are two quite different personals with difference roles to play in the filed of law. But despite these slight differences which matter quite a lot to state bar associations, these two terms have practically become interchangeable in the United States.
A lawyer is defined as someone who is trained in law and whose profession is to offer legal advice and to represent their clients in courts in civil and criminal trials or in other legal matters, providing and submitting proof and evidence on his client’s behalf. He debates in court, cross questions the witnesses on behalf of his client and he sometimes acts as an advisor too who guides, counsels and educates his client on legal rights, duties and obligations and proposes courses of action both in the business and in personal issues.
A lawyer is authorized to practice law and is normally forced to comply with a strict code of conduct and ethics.While some lawyers specialize in trial works, some are obliged and under license to represent anyone in court. As law is a vast area and it is practically impossible to cover each and every aspect of it, lawyers often specialize in either civil or criminal law and also, in their respective fields of interest. They might even pay special attention to areas such as environmental law, company law or express and interest in the field of intellectual property, etc. Lawyers are specifically trained to conduct researches, question witnesses and prepare relevant documents that he is obliged to present to court on behalf of his client.
An attorney at law is also a lawyer and they too have studied law and chosen law as their career path. Yet he surpasses the role of the lawyer to not only represent his client in business transactions, but also to act on his behalf. An attorney at law is also licensed to act for plaintiffs and defendants in legal proceedings. An attorney at law is an agent of the client who acts on behalf of the client and guides his affairs under a constrained authority which is granted to him by a letter which is better known as “the power of attorney”. Although sometimes, lawyers too are given the power of attorney, it is the attorney at law’s specific job description to act as an agent for his client.
Although both these persons are referred more commonly as “lawyers”, they have their own specific roles to fulfill. Attorneys today are given the authority to perform all functions as a practicing lawyer but his original and utmost duty would be to exercise the power of attorney bestowed upon him by his client.