The terms lawyer and attorney are often used in the United States without knowing the difference between the two. Contrary to popular belief, a lawyer is actually different from an attorney. To understand the differences, Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law recently released a press release that gives us a good idea about what makes the two different from each other.
If you have been using the terms interchangeably in the United States, you’ll be surprised to know that the two are different from each other. Hopefully, after you have understood what makes a lawyer different from an attorney, you’ll also know who is better.
What Is a Lawyer?
A lawyer is an individual who is learned and trained in law but they may not practice law. These individuals often give legal advice by attending law schools in the United States. Anyone who does this can be considered a lawyer. But to be precise, a student of the law also has to pass a bar exam in any of the particular jurisdiction to be able to practice law and provide legal representation. If the individual does not sit and clear a bar exam, the opportunities of using their law education are severely limited.
What Is an Attorney
The term attorney is basically an abbreviation of an attorney at law or attorney-at-law. An attorney is a given name to a lawyer in the U.S. The very first known use of the term attorney-at-law was recorded way back in 1768.
An attorney is an individual who is described as a practitioner in the court of law. He or she is legally qualified to defend and prosecute actions in the court on the basis of the retainer of clients. If you look back at the term, it has French origins which actually means that a person acting for another as an agent or deputy.
In simple words, attornies are individuals who actually practices law in court whereas a lawyer has a choice, he or she may or may not practice law as mentioned above. Although the two terms are often considered having the same meaning, an attorney is a lawyer but a lawyer cannot be an attorney.
So Who Is Better, an Attorney or a Lawyer?
From what we have learned so far above, an attorney is definitely a better choice if you are looking for an individual to represent you in the court of law. They are legally allowed to practice law and have sat a bar exam. Without clearing the bar exam, an attorney cannot practice the law.
A lawyer, on the other hand, may or may not have enough experience to deal with real-world cases. They are more like professors in the world of law and are usually good when educating other aspiring lawyers.
The best way to determine who is better is to simply see their success record if both of them practice the law. Whether an individual is an attorney or a lawyer, if they have plenty of experience fighting actual legal battles of the real world, you could hire either.