What are lawyers, attorneys and advocates?

  • All who earn their living engaged in practicing the law are called lawyers, including judges, magistrates, advocates, attorneys, and university lecturers.
  • There are two main branches of legal practitioners: attorneys, who do legal work of all kinds, and advocates, who are specialists.
  • Attorneys are the business managers of cases and they decide when an advocate is or is not necessary to be engaged to act for the clients. Advocates have no direct contact with clients. For this reason advocates are said to be in a referral profession.
  • Attorneys are the lawyers that clients see first with their problems. Attorneys give general advice in the law.
  • Advocates (also called counsel) get briefed to take on cases by attorneys when a specialist skill is needed in a court case or in research into the law.
  • Attorneys form professional companies and firms and practice in partnership with each other. Advocates are individuals practitioners and never form partnerships. Advocates may become members of the Bar.

Question 1

Answer to question 1

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