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!