How Lawyer and Attorney Terms are Used
Rarely you will find a profession with so many title variations as lawyer. The titles Attorney, Lawyer, Barrister and Esquire are frequently used, sometimes interchangeably, in the field of law. So what are the differences in titles?
A lawyer is someone who is educated in the law. A person who has been educated in the law will always be addressed as a lawyer, even if he does not give legal advice to other people. In fact, a lawyer in the United States is simply anyone who has gone through law school. However, the lawyer who has just completed his education in law school may not be allowed to do certain jobs until they succeed in the bar exam that is conducted in the specific area they may wish to practice. For instance, a lawyer may work as a technical lawyer by serving as a consultant or policy advisor although he is not empowered to act as a legal representative.
Attorneys are also recognized as lawyers. Attorneys graduate from law school and they can also choose to practice law as a profession. One of the essential steps involved in becoming an attorney is sitting for the bar exam. A potential attorney must pass the bar exam to be eligible to practice law within a specific jurisdiction. Apart from performing the basic functions of a lawyer, attorneys can also act as legal representatives for their clients. An attorney does not just interpret the law; he also applies his knowledge of the law to provide the needs of his client. Attorneys act as lawyers but not all lawyers can perform the work of attorneys.
All attorneys are lawyers, but it is improper to say that all lawyers are attorneys.
A Barrister-term used in England. Barrister, also termed as Barrister-at-Law or Bar-at-Law is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialize in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings, and giving expert legal opinions. They can be contrasted with solicitors – the other class of lawyer in split professions – who have more direct access with clients, and may do transactional-type legal work.
Esquire. Another term that is often misunderstood in law is “esquire”. The term is an informal title for acknowledging educated people in the UK. Apart from being a title for solicitors and barristers (terms also used in the UK for legal professionals), it is also used to honor doctors and those that have successfully completed their doctorate courses. In the US, “esquire” is mostly used as a title for attorneys. Other people in the US who use the term “esquire” as a title may find themselves in trouble especially if they do the things that are solely reserved for lawyers. Source
Fields of Law
The law is a wide and diverse field, comprising of several broad categories. Attorneys can have either a specific specialization or a general practice. General practice attorneys handle all different types of cases. The American Bar Association requires that an attorney be reasonably competent in any area of law in which he or she takes a case. Reasonably competent means having the knowledge, skills and ability of a reasonable attorney who practices that type of law or works on that type of case. Because different areas of law are diverse, it is somewhat difficult for even general practice attorneys to be skilled in all areas of law.
Attorneys who specialize in a particular area of law generally work on cases only within that area. Certain types of practice are highly specialized, such as tax or intellectual property law. These specialized areas are generally handled only by attorneys with a specialty in the field, because only attorneys who focus on this type of work are competent to understand the very specific rules and regulations. Listed below are types of fields of law.
- Civil Rights
- Corporate and Securities Law
- Criminal Law
- Education Law
- Employment and Labor Law
- Evironmental and Natural Resources Law
- Family and Juvenile Law
- Health Law
- Immigration Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International Law
- Real Estate Law
- Sports Law
- Entertainment Law
- Tax Law
Criminal Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
If you’ve been arrested and accused of a crime — particularly a felony such as homicide — you’ll need a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. People accused of lesser crimes like theft or simple assault are likely to need legal representation from a licensed criminal defense attorney.
Your criminal defense attorney’s job is to protect your rights and ensure your access to a fair trial. By examining the circumstances surrounding your case and weighing the strength of the evidence against you, your defense lawyer will apply current law, along with previous legal precedent, to your specific situation and use it to devise a solid legal strategy and build the best possible case for acquittal.
If you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation, your immigration status, and your job may be at stake. The outcome you receive in the criminal justice system depends upon the experience and knowledge of the defense attorney you choose to represent you.
When you retain the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., you do not simply retain a nationally recognized criminal defense lawyer. You retain a criminal defense team who has worked together for years and successfully represented clients in virtually every type of criminal case, including:
- Animal cruelty, such as dog fighting, cock fighting and abandonment
- Drug crimes, such as drug trafficking and Oxycodone offenses
- Fraud, such as mortgage fraud, insider trading and mail fraud
- Traffic offenses, such as DUI
- Violent crimes, such as domestic violence and battery
Contact our law firm to discuss your legal case in a confidential consultation.