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Difference between Lawyer and Advocate

We have known several things that are common about the laws of the country. For instance, we know that the number 100 is dialled to call the local police in case something happens. These common laws help us in being aware of our surroundings. Now, there are several people who study law to become a lawyer or an advocate. You must be wondering that lawyers and advocates are the same things. But that is not so. The terms lawyer and advocate are different from one another. But before discussing the differences, let us first understand the meaning of these two terms.


Well, a lawyer is defined as a person who studies and practices law. A lawyer is responsible for conducting research on various legal issues. They take action in several cases like the cases of wills, deeds, appeals, contracts, etc. A lawyer is not limited to a particular case; rather, he/ she can specialize in any area they want. A lawyer applies his/ her practical applications, legal theories, etc., to the cases. There are several types of lawyers that we will be discussing later.

Lawyer vs Advocate


On the other hand, an advocate is defined as a person who is a professional in the area of law. An advocate speaks in favour of something that is right. Many countries have different terms attached to it. In other countries, an advocate is called as a barrister/ solicitor. The major role of an advocate is to stand for what is right and support unheard people. He/ She make sure that the person is provided justice. Now, let us look at some points of contrast between them.

1. A lawyer is defined as an individual who studies the law and researches on various legal issues. On the other hand, an advocate is defined as an individual specializing in the court of law.
2. The term 'lawyer' is used to denote a person who practices law or is in any other legal profession. An advocate is a specialized person who represents his/ her client in the court and makes sure the person gets justice.
3. If an individual wants to become a lawyer, then he/ she has to clear the All India Bar Exam and get enrolled in the course. For becoming an advocate, an individual has to clear the All India Bar Exam and then enroll themselves in the state bar council. After that, they can represent their client in court.
4. The lawyers lack experience. The individuals complete their degrees without necessary guidance or training. On the other hand, the advocates are specialized individuals who have practiced a lot in several domains of law. They are experienced individuals.
5. The lawyers can provide legal advices to their clients, but they are unable to represent them in the court of law. The advocates are experienced and know many legal matters. They represent their clients in the court and plead on their behalf to get justice.
6. The charges of a lawyer are less as compared to an advocate. This is so because a lawyer lacks the necessary skills. The charges of an advocate are higher as they specialize in different areas and help the people in getting justice. They are more skilled and qualified.
7. A lawyer is an individual who is still pursuing a law course (LL.B.). On the other hand, an advocate is a person who has completed the law course and is specialized in the field of law.

So, these are some of the points of contrast between a lawyer and an advocate. Well, there are different types of lawyers and advocates who specialize in different domains. So, let us take a look at them.

Types of Lawyers

  1. Family Lawyers: As the name suggests, family lawyers are the ones who handle cases regarding domestic violence, divorce, emotional abuse, legal separation, etc. A family lawyer can also work with a criminal lawyer in case of child abuse.
  2. Estate Planning Lawyers: Estate Planning Lawyers have the responsibility to sort out or sell out the assets and properties that lie with the deceased owner.
  3. Malpractice Lawyers: Malpractice Lawyer handles the cases where a doctor, government official, or lawyer is guilty of not fulfilling their responsibilities and duties.
  4. Business Lawyers: The individuals who have expertise in management, maintaining, transferring, and dissolving a business are called business lawyers. They are also known as corporate lawyers. Corporate lawyers deal with several subjects like tax, contracts, employment, merging, etc.
  5. Tax Lawyers: As the name suggests, a tax lawyer or an accountant helps his/ her client to start a business or manage the business when one is not present there.
  6. Immigration Lawyers: In order to apply for citizenship to another country, one needs an immigration lawyer. All the paperwork and approval are taken care of by these lawyers.
  7. Constitutional Lawyers: One needs a constitutional lawyer if he/ she thinks that their rights have been violated. For instance, in order to protect coloured people in America, constitutional lawyers are appointed to take care of them.
  8. Environmental Lawyers: These lawyers are responsible for protecting the environment and climate change. These lawyers help in representing the individuals and groups who help in saving the environment.
  9. Civil Litigation Lawyers: Civil Litigation Lawyers are called general lawyers because they handle general cases like breaching a contract.
  10. Criminal Defense Lawyers: As the name suggests, a criminal defense lawyer is responsible for taking care of criminal cases. They are responsible for arresting, investigating, sentencing, etc., the person.

Types of Advocates

  1. Senior Advocates: An advocate who is specialized in his/ her domain and has the required ability and knowledge are designated to the position of senior advocate by the court of law. A senior lawyer has to enter the court of law along with an advocate-on-record or a junior.
  2. Advocate-on-Record: Advocates-on-Record can file a case regarding any matter in the Supreme Court. They are also responsible for filing a case against a party to appear in the court of law.
  3. Others: Other advocates include the ones who are entered into the State Bar Council according to the Advocate Act of 1961. These advocates can appear in debate in any matter on behalf of their client. In the Supreme Court, they are not allowed to file any case. They can only file cases in district court and high court.

So, these are some of the types of lawyers and advocates in India and other countries. People need different kinds of lawyers and advocates for different purposes. There are some differences too between them that are mentioned above. Thus, both lawyers and advocates are important parts of the judicial system in the country.

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