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  1. #1
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    Question Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    The term "solicitor" is not used in the US. (It is used in Britain, where they have solicitors and barristers.) "Attorney" and "lawyer" are synonyms, with "attorney" being the more formal of the two.




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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    I am not an English teacher but my understanding of the words as a native English speaker.

    UK

    solicitor = A legal professional you employ to carry out legal work.
    barrister = A member of the Bar, that you have empowered to speak on your behalf.


    US

    lawyer = A legal professional you employ to carry out legal work.
    attorney = A member of the Bar, that you have empowered to speak on your behalf.


    The one can carry out legal work, but only the attorney/barrister can speak on your behalf in a court of law.
    When you pass your law exams and are employed by a law firm, you are a lawyer/solicitor, but only when you are admitted to the bar can you call yourself an attorney/barrister.
    Last edited by Methuselah; 18-Jun-2008 at 11:14.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    Quote Originally Posted by Methuselah View Post
    The one can carry out legal work but only the Attorney/Barrister can speak on behalf in a court of law.
    I am not a teacher nor even a NES, but, respectfully, I disagree.


    From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44 [gcide]:

    Lawyer \Law"yer\, noun [From {Law}, like bowyer, fr. bow.]

    1. One versed in the laws, or a practitioner of law; one whose profession is to conduct lawsuits for clients, or to advise as to prosecution or defence of lawsuits, or as to legal rights and obligations in other matters. It is a general term, comprehending attorneys, counselors, solicitors, barristers, sergeants, and advocates.


    From Babylon English - English dictionary

    lawyer
    n. one who represents people in a court of law or advises them on legal matters, barrister, attorney

    From Lawyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Wikipedia)

    Oral argument in the courts

    Arguing a client's case before a judge or jury in a court of law is the traditional province of the barrister in England. However, the boundary between barristers and solicitors has evolved. In England today, the barrister monopoly covers only appellate courts, and barristers must compete directly with solicitors in many trial courts. In countries like the United States that have fused legal professions, there are trial lawyers who specialize in trying cases in court, but trial lawyers do not have a de jure monopoly like barristers.
    In some countries, litigants have the option of arguing pro se, or on their own behalf. It is common for litigants to appear unrepresented before certain courts like small claims courts; indeed, many such courts do not allow lawyers to speak for their clients, in an effort to save money for all participants in a small case.

    No pun intended mate, and I may be wrong. I'm just adding my two cents
    And as a lawyer would say, I rest my case.

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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    I agree Kraken, the boundaries have become blurred over time.

    It is common to find solicitors/lawyers speaking on your behalf in court, but I have asked a number of attorneys this same question, they informed me that;

    An attorney/barrister specialises in addressing the court, he rarely spends time preparing or researching the case. His forte is presenting the case to the court.

    If you are fighting a speeding ticket, your law firm will use any of their solicitors/lawyers to represent you in court. If you are fighting a murder charge, it is likely the law firm will carry out the preparation of the case, but on your day in court they will appoint a specialised barrister/attorney to speak in court.

  6. #6
    Kraken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    Thank you for your time and for the explanation mate.

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    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    I stand by my original post. The words "lawyer" and "attorney" are synonyms. Sure, there are lawyers who specialize in trying cases. They are called trial lawyers. Furthermore, some lawyers specialize in criminal cases. Others specialize in civil cases. (Rarely does a criminal lawyer take on civil cases and vice versa.) Attorney is not something that is different from lawyer. They are the same thing. In fact, a lawyer is an attorney at law.

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    Default Re: Is there any difference among "lawyer","attorney" and "solicitor"

    I stand corrected, the American justice system has no such distinctions.

    My confusion arises from the fact that we call them lawyers and attorneys in South Africa and yet use the English system.
    Last edited by Methuselah; 19-Jun-2008 at 01:51.

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