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what is the difference between an LAWYER and an ADVOCATE?

Page no : 2

Zeta Teresa Pereira   04 February 2020

Dear Sir,

In India, a lawyer is a person who has obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree from any government recognized institution. This can be a B.A. LL.B/BBA LL.B/ B.COM LL.B/ BSC. LLB etc. degree or a LL.B degree. After completing this degree, you will be called a lawyer. But this degree cannot permit you to defend your client in the court of law. To become an advocate, you must enroll yourself in any of the State Bar Council of India and then clear the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). The examination is an easy one and the questions will be based on your law curriculum. 

I hope you are clear about the difference between a lawyer and an advocate now.


Palak Singh   01 April 2020

Many a times people tend to use the terms advocate and lawyer synonymously. But the two terms are different. 

The term ‘lawyer’ is often used to refer to a broad spectrum of legal professionals. A lawyer is anyone who has been trained in law. Anyone who has attended law school and attained an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree, is a lawyer.

What this means is that if you are only a lawyer, without any additional qualifications or professional designations, you cannot represent a client in a court of law. 

According to Oxford Dictionary descripttions, a Lawyer is:

  • A person who practices or studies law, especially (in the UK) a solicitor or a barrister or (in the US) an attorney.
  • Anyone who holds a law degree
  • Give law advice
  • Can do litigation
  • Role and duties may change depending on the type of lawyer. (Solicitors, attorneys, advocates, barristers, are all types of lawyers).


An 'advocate' is a specialist lawyer who represents clients in a court of law. One needs to pass the bar exam to be able to become an advocate.

According to Oxford Dictionary descripttions, an Advocate is:

  • A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.
  • A person who puts a case on someone else's behalf.
  • A professional pleader in a court of justice. Scottish and South African term for barrister
  • Represent a client in the court of law
  • Speak on behalf of a client
  • Plead their case

The following are the distinctions between a lawyer and an advocate:

  • A lawyer can be anyone. This person is not eligible to stand in the court on behalf of his/her client although he/she can give legal advice.  On the other hand the advocate is a special type of lawyer who can stand in favour of a client in a court.
  • Duties of an advocate are: Represent a client in the court of law, Speak on behalf of a client, Plead their case while duties of lawyer are: Give law advice, Can do litigation, Role and duties may change depending on the type of lawyer.
  •  An advocate may be a lawyer but a lawyer may not be an advocate .An 'Advocate' is a step ahead of a' lawyer'.

Hope this answers your question!


Palak Singh

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