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To many people, the word lawyer and advocate mean the same thing. In fact, there are people who use these words in the place of the other. For instance, you can hear some people say I’m looking for a general practice lawyer then say my advocate in the same sentence or conversation.  

For such people, lawyers and advocates are just the same thing which is not the case.  Just because some people make some mistakes when referring to these two professionals does not make them the same. There are existing difference between lawyers and advocates which everyone must know.  

Other than just the names, there are more other differences between lawyers and advocates.  In this text, you are going to find some differences between lawyers and advocates which you do not know yet.  The purpose of this text is to inform you and maybe help you choose the right professional between a lawyer and an advocate when you need any. 

Who is an Advocate? 

An advocate is first of a lawyer though lawyers are not necessarily advocates.  An advocate therefore refers to a lawyer who has completed his law degree and is duly licensed to practice law.  The advocate can even appear in court to represent his or her own clients and even represent their interest on different matters outside of court.  

Put simply advocates, are licensed to perform all the legal functions of any certified legal scholar is supposed to.  Therefore, if you have a case and looking for representation in court then the person you will most likely look for to represent you in court is an advocate.  

Who is A Lawyer? 

A lawyer is someone who has a law degree from a certified university.  A lawyer in legal terms is simply someone who has a degree in law.  However, this does not mean that lawyers can go to court to practice law by either representing their clients or in any other way. 

In other words, all advocates are lawyers but not all lawyers are advocates. In fact, the term lawyer is very generic and might at times be used to refer to many other things within the legal space. In summary, lawyers are just legal scholars with a law degree with nothing more on top of that.  

This means holders of that title are yet to go through the whole process of certification and then be granted a license to practice in court. Remember a law degree alone does not make anyone eligible to practice law; there is quite a lot that must be added on to that to make them eligible to practice law. 

Other than just the definitions and who these two professionals are more differences between them.  However, some of these differences might apply differently to different countries. Some of these differences are listed below for your own consideration depending on where you are. 

  • Regulation between Lawyers and Advocates 

This is one of the differences that exist between lawyers and advocates.  Practicing advocates are highly regulated by the laws of the land and the regulations as set out by the law society of the country.  For the lawyers though the regulations are not there and they could just do whatever they want.  

Some people tend to think that all lawyers must be advocates at some point.  However, that is not the case. There are people who only choose to enroll for a law degree and once they acquire it they then proceed to do other things.  

For instance, some people only choose to enroll for a law degree then proceed to pursue other opportunities in life. However, those who wish to become advocates must proceed to other levels of education after the attainment of a law degree. 

  • Courtroom Experience 

Advocates have courtroom experience while lawyers do not necessarily have courtroom experience. However, on this matter there should be some specifications regarding which advocate.  There are some advocates who still do not have experience in court simply because they have not been in the industry for many years.  

For lawyers by the extreme description of that word, have no experience in court whatsoever.  These are just people who have done and completed their law degree and are yet to add on that at any level. As such, they have no professional experience anywhere not in court or any other place.

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  • Level of Education 

Education is another big difference between a lawyer an advocate.  While all of them might have taken the same academic path from primary education to the law degree, advocates go beyond that.  For instance, advocates have to go all the way to the law school then sit for the bar exams which they have to do and pass before being admitted to the bar. 

For lawyers, they only study to the level of degree or even beyond that to masters and even PhD.  However, this is only academic study and not professional. For professional study, the lawyer must then proceed to the law school then go all the way to sit for their bar exams and then get admission to the bar. 

These are some of the main differences between lawyers and advocates. Even though some people constantly use the word lawyer in the place of Advocate, it is very clear that there are many differences between these two professionals. 

Therefore, from today going forward if you have any matter in court that you need help on it will be right if you used the word advocate. This is the right word that means a person who studied law qualified and can practice law in a court of law.

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Final Thoughts 

There are many differences between lawyers and advocates. These differences range from what these two professionals do on their academic journey and the rest. In summary, all advocates are lawyers but not all lawyers are advocates.

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By Ember

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