Ever wondered the difference between Lawyer, Advocate, Attorney and Solicitor?
By Lawfarm Team December 14, 2021
By Pragati Sengar
Lawyers, advocates, attorneys, and solicitors are all regarded as equal terms, but their meanings, importance, and nature differ. This blog gives readers a comprehensive picture of the responsibilities of each of the terms listed in terms of their jurisdiction.
A lawyer is a person who has completed their legal studies or is a law graduate. A lawyer is unable to represent you in court. A lawyer is a person who has received legal training and can work as a legal adviser, consultant, academician, in-house legal counsel, or in a business firm, and can prepare documents such as contracts, deeds, and wills, among other things.
"One who assists, defends, or pleads for another" is how an advocate is defined. A counsellor is a person who provides legal advice and assistance to others and represents their interests in front of a court or tribunal. A lawyer who is well-versed in the law and has been duly admitted to practice, and who advises and advocates for his client in open court is an Advocates.
To practice law as an advocate, you must be a member of a State Bar Council. Under Section 29 of the Advocates Act of 1961, an advocate may be enrolled in a State Bar Council. Advocates are the only class of people in India who are allowed to practice law.
Furthermore, anyone who is not enrolled as an Advocate is forbidden from practising law in any court in India under Section 33 of the Advocates Act of 1961.
A lawyer who has been admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction and is authorized to represent clients in criminal and civil matters. Providing legal advice, writing legal papers, and representing clients before courts, administrative agencies, and other tribunals are all part of the Attorney’s responsibilities.
Even if an attorney is compelled by law to provide some services pro bono (for free), the individual is usually entitled to remuneration for the reasonable value of the services provided. During a trial or criminal proceedings, an attorney must normally acquire court authorization to stop representing a client.
The Attorney-Client Privilege protects some conversations between an attorney and a client. In the law of evidence, a client has the right to refuse to reveal and to prevent others from disclosing secret communications sent to and from the attorney. Nonetheless, if there is a "reasonable possibility" that the statements will not interfere with a fair trial or otherwise affect the due administration of justice, attorneys are entitled to make general (non-privileged) press statements made before the trial.
Solicitors typically work on a retainer basis for large corporations in exchange for a sizable fee. Because their duty is limited to providing advice to clients, it is easier for them to acquire many clients and manage them on a consistent basis. Solicitors are consulted by commercial customers on a variety of issues, including litigation, property, tax, and finance. Personal legal problems such as wills, property conveyance, divorce, and custody are common in private client employment.
Solicitors must possess a diverse set of abilities, including drafting, in-depth understanding, and interpretation of a wide range of legal matters, and the ability to engage with clients and form positive working relationships. They must be able to collaborate closely with others, pay close attention to details, and be willing to work long hours. Working with complex data also requires initiative and sound judgement. Solicitors require a great deal of patience because they may be advising laypeople, whilst advocates or barristers who must argue in court must contend with Judges who are well-versed in the legal issues of the case.
Under the UK legal system, there was a clear and distinct distinction between Solicitors and Barristers, with Barristers having exclusive access to various forums. However, these have evolved over time, particularly following changes in statutory requirements after 1990. Following then, the focus shifted to new structures and greater cross-professional collaboration.
To become a solicitor, a candidate must first complete three years of clerkship with a senior solicitor and then pass the Bombay Incorporated Law Society's solicitor's examination. Clients in Mumbai prefer to work with solicitors, and some large firms refuse to accept non-solicitors as partners.
Solicitors in India are regulated by the Bombay Incorporated Law Society in Mumbai, India.
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