Who is an Advocate?
The term advocate is used generally to describe a person with legal training and enrolled with or admitted to the bar council; and eligible to represent his or her client in the court of law (court of competent jurisdiction). Advocates generally have both academic and legal knowledge together with court room experience. The term advocate is commonly used in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Nations around the world.
Advocates advise and represent individuals, businesses and government agencies on legal issues and disputes; thus for greater expertise, many have specialized into specific areas of law i.e Family, Criminal, Sports, Constitutional, Technology, Commercial, Property and Conveyance etc. Any practicing advocate has a registered law firm with a conspicuous office. Most advocates are expensive in the sense that they charge a lot of fees for legal representation or advice; rarely do they offer their services on Pro Bono basis.
Who is a Lawyer?
The term lawyer is used broadly to describe any person with legal knowledge or training. Generally, lawyers mostly have legal/academic knowledge but do not have court room experience. In this regard, an advocate can also be described as a lawyer, but a lawyer cannot be described as an advocate.
Lawyers too can advise and represent individuals, businesses and agencies on legal issues and disputes, though many lawyers with limited experience in law practice opt to deal with law profile cases i.e cases involving small sums of money, civil offenses, immigration, accident etc. It is also important to note that, not all lawyers have registered firms and offices.
Also, many lawyers have not specialized into any specific area of law; they usually have a general approach to legal practice. Typically, lawyers comparatively charge ‘‘small’’ legal fees when compared to advocates. They can offer legal representation or advice Pro Bono.
In other common law jurisdictions around the world such as England Wales, more specific distinctions are made, to differentiate between lawyers who practice law in court and those who do not by use of terms such a solicitor, barrister and advocate.
A solicitor is a lawyer who deals with any legal matter. Typically, they don’t appear in court but prepare legal documents and work directly with clients providing legal advice. Historically, the term solicitor was used in the United States. It referred to lawyers who handle cases in a court of equity whereas attorney at that time referred to those that dealt with cases in a court of law.
Barristers on the other hand, are called upon by solicitors if their case requires a court appearance. A barrister doesn’t work directly with clients but receives referrals from solicitors who are often retained by their clients. The solicitor will assist the barrister with all preparations for the case outside of court. Although this is not always the case, an advocate is another term for barrister in many English-law based jurisdictions.
Responsibilities And Duties Of Lawyers And Advocates
- Prepare and file legal documents such as lawsuits, appeal, wills, contract and deeds.
- Advise and represent individuals, businesses and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.
- Interpret laws, rulings and regulations to concerned parties.
- Communicating with parties involved in a case i.e clients, colleagues, judges and others
- Conduct research and analysis of the legal problem or case.
- Uphold the integrity, self-respect and code of conduct of legal profession.
- Inform clients and the general public about their rights and liberties as per the provision of the law.
- Not to act or plead in any matter in which he or she is peculiarly interested.
- Lawyers and advocates have a duty to disagree but respect the rulings of courts of law (court of competent jurisdiction).
- Engage in community work.
Difference Between Advocate And Lawyer In Tabular Form
|BASIS OF COMPARISON||ADVOCATE||LAYWER|
|Description||The term advocate is used generally to describe a person with legal training and enrolled with or admitted to the bar council; and eligible to represent his client in the court of law.||The term lawyer is used broadly to describe any person with legal knowledge or training.|
|Court Room Experience.||Advocates have both academic and legal knowledge together with court room experience.||Lawyers mostly have legal/academic knowledge but do not have court room experience.|
|Legal Firm||An advocate has a registered legal firms and an office.||Not all lawyers have registered firms and offices.|
|Fees||Advocates generally charge huge legal fees to represent a client in court or for legal advice.||Lawyers do not necessarily charge huge fees. They can offer legal representation or advice Pro Bono.|
|Term Usage||The term advocate or Barrister is common in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Nations around the world.||The terms lawyer, Barrister or attorney is commonly used in United States and Canada.|
|Nature Of Work||Advocates generally deal with high profile cases i.e cases involving huge amounts of money, criminal cases, election petitions, corporate and technological disputes etc.||Many lawyers with limited experience in law practice, deal with law profile cases i.e cases involving small sums of money, civil offenses, immigration, accident or personal injury etc.|
|Specialization||Advocates have specialized into specific areas of law i.e Family, Criminal, Sports, Constitutional, Technology, Commercial, property and conveyance etc.||Most lawyers have not specialized into any area of law; they usually have a general approach to legal practice.|
|Experience||In many commonwealth countries, advocates with vast knowledge and many years of legal practice or experience are usually referred to as Senior Counsel.||A lawyer with both legal knowledge and court room experience is referred to as advocate.|
|Application||An advocate can be referred to as a Lawyer.||A lawyer cannot be referred to as an Advocate.|
|Appointment||Advocates can be appointed to roles such as Chief Justice, Solicitor, Attorney General, Judges etc.||Lawyers cannot be appointed to roles that require vast knowledge and experience in law.|