What is the Difference Between a Lawyer and an Attorney?

As the term is generally used in common day language, there is no difference between a lawyer or attorney. The terms are interchangeable, and mean the same thing. But the Associated Press Stylebook says that:

A generic term for all members of the bar. An attorney is someone legally appointed or empowered to act for another, usually, but not always, a lawyer. An attorney at law is a lawyer. A barrister is an English lawyer who is specially trained and appears exclusively as a trial lawyer in higher courts. He is retained by a solicitor, not directly by the client. There is no equivalent term in the United States. Counselor, when used in a legal sense, means a person who conducts a case in court, usually, but not always, a lawyer. A counselor at law is a lawyer. Counsel frequently is used collectively for a group of counselors. A solicitor in England is a lawyer who performs legal services for the public. A solicitor appears in lower courts but does not have the right to appear in higher courts, which are reserved to barristers. A solicitor in the United States is a lawyer employed by a governmental body. Solicitor is generally a job description, but in some agencies it is a formal title. Solicitor general is the formal title for a chief law officer (where there is no attorney general) or for the chief assistant to the law officer (when there is an attorney general). Capitalize when used before a name. Do not use lawyer as a formal title.”

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.