What’s the Difference Between Attorney and Lawyer?

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What's the Difference Between Attorney and Lawyer?

Difference Between Attorney and Lawyer

In day-to-day life, we use words interchangeably. We use synonyms without thinking about the minute difference in their meaning.

However, in the legal world, things are different. There, each word is looked at carefully, and you cannot use words at your discretion.

We often hear two terms, ‘lawyer’ and ‘attorney’. People use them carelessly in their conversations, talks, discussions, and even in written text.

However, these two words have distinct meanings, and they are significantly different.

When you are into some legal matter and need to hire a family lawyer Adelaide or any other lawyer, you must know the difference between a lawyer and an attorney.

Let’s try to understand these two terms in detail in this blog.


In the Australian context, a ‘Lawyer’ is a person, who has been admitted to the legal profession as a solicitor or barrister. There is a difference in the practice of a solicitor and a barrister,though.

A solicitor advises his clients and helps in preparing legal documents. A barrister is an expert in preparing cases for trial and he is an advocate.

Thus, when you need a criminal lawyer Adelaide, you need someone, who can present your case in court. So, a barrister will be a better choice here.


Though it is not a very common word in Australia, ‘Attorney’ is referred to as solicitors generally. It is in fact, a synonym for the word solicitor. The word has become popular due to the US influence on the vocabulary.

There is an exception to this. It is the Trademark or Patent Attorney. He is the person who is qualified to represent clients in matters related to intellectual property law. He is represented by the organization that acknowledges that it is the official title for people working in this field.

However, we should not forget that in spite of the fact that they hold the title of ‘attorney’, they are solicitors and barristers.

Lawyer versus Attorney

So, when the married life of someone is in trouble, he should consult a divorce lawyer Adelaide. He will present the case in court and represent the client. Here, an attorney is not required.

In the US, the term ‘attorney’ refers to a lawyer that can deal in documentation as well as present the case in court.

Since the legal system of Australia is largely descended from the UK, these two terms have different meanings and contexts.

Also Read:

How much do Solicitors Charge for Wills in Adelaide?

What Should You Never Put in Your Will?

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