Attorney vs Lawyer: What Are the Differences?
Attorney vs Lawyer: Comparing Definitions
Attorney vs Lawyer: Differences in Roles and Duties
Other Similar Law Terms
Attorneys, lawyers, and counsels have all been educated and trained in law. As explained above, attorneys must pass the bar exam, and practice law in court. Lawyers may or may not have taken the bar exam, and may or may not practice law. Counsels provide legal advice, and often work for an organization or corporation. The terms are often used interchangeably in everyday speech, despite the differences in meaning.
The titles J.D. and Esq. both refer to someone who has completed law school. J.D. stands for Juris Doctor, and signifies that someone has completed law school and earned their J.D. degree. Esq. stands for Esquire and this title typically signifies that someone has both completed law school and passed the bar exam. For both terms, there is some disagreement between states regarding the requirements for each title.
In the United States, the terms attorney and lawyer are frequently considered synonyms. The two terms are often used interchangeably—but there are some differences to understand if you are considering law school, preparing for the bar exam, or embarking on a career in law.