Attorney is the formal title for someone who practices law and acts on behalf of others. An attorney may specialize in criminal or civil legal cases, such as lawsuits over personal injury or property disputes. An attorney may also be hired to handle corporate legal work, such as preparing contracts or negotiating business deals.
Many people use the terms lawyer and attorney interchangeably, but there are some key differences between these two professions that can make a difference in the services provided by each. This Juro explainer looks at the different roles and responsibilities of attorneys and lawyers, from how they are trained to their day-to-day work.
While anyone can represent themselves in court or during a settlement, it’s often advisable to hire an attorney who is experienced in the type of case you need help with. You can ask for recommendations from friends and family or search online for an attorney who specializes in your type of case.
Some lawyers choose not to take the bar exam after graduating from law school and completing their externship. Instead, they may choose to become an attorney without examination by filing a Motion for Admission without Examination in their state. While this route differs between states, most allow you to continue to practice as an attorney after meeting other requirements, such as passing character and fitness tests.
An attorney can also choose to add the abbreviation “Esq.” (pronounced E-squire) to the end of their name, as some lawyers do. This is a title that dates back to the 17th century and was used as an honorific for those who had passed the bar exam and joined the legal profession. Anwalt