Difference Between Lawyer And Attorney
By Andrew Parker - November 17, 2021

Although most people use the terms lawyer and attorney interchangeably, each word has its own meaning. Basically, while all attorneys are lawyers, not all lawyers are attorneys.

Table Summary

Anyone educated and trained in lawEducated and trained in law, and also practices it in court
Midsection Of Lawyer Working At Desk In Courtroom

Getty Images / EyeEm / Nopparat Khokthong


Anyone educated and trained in law is considered a lawyer. That means that someone who went to law school but doesn’t practice law is still considered a lawyer.

An attorney-at-law is someone who not only went to law school and trained in law but also practices it in court. To be considered an attorney, a lawyer needs to be legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in court on the retainer of clients.

Lawyer VS Attorney

While both lawyers and attorneys are educated and trained in law, only attorneys are allowed to practice it in court. While anyone who has graduated from law school can be called a lawyer, only people who have graduated from law school, passed the bar exam and practice law in court can be called attorneys.