The terms attorney and lawyer are perhaps two of the most interchangeably used words that people associate to a person that can help them deal with their legal matters. Although the two may give the impression that they both refer to the same type of professional individual, there is actually a distinct difference between them.
One can represent while one can only advice
The term lawyer refers to a person who has completed law school. The term makes sense for this individual as having a law degree means you are equipped with the knowledge about the law. However, although formally trained and educated, lawyers are not allowed to represent clients in court. They would need to pass the bar exam first and gain a license which certifies their skills and knowledge that is required in client court representations.
An attorney on the other hand is someone who has successfully passed the bar exam. He or she can legally represent clients in court similar to how a licensed doctor is allowed to legally perform medical treatments on patients.
In the U.S., attorneys are only allowed to practice their profession within the state in which they passed the bar exam. This means if you have a court case in Florida, an attorney from Georgia cannot represent you in court. This is because each state in the U.S. has its own unique set of laws so to be able to practice law in one state, one must know the specific laws of that state.
Seeking the right legal professional
If you are seeking legal advice, you can seek either a lawyer or an attorney. However, there are situations when the latter may have an advantage over the former due to having more hands on experience that can translate into a more sound advice. Lawyers can serve as consultants or policy advisors but can never represent you in court.
In a nutshell, all attorneys are lawyers while not all lawyers are attorneys. Both can give you legal advice and consultation but only attorneys can act as legal representatives for you in court.
Experienced legal representation in Jacksonville, Florida
If you happen to be in need of serious legal representation in the state of Florida particularly in the city of Jacksonville, The Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, P.A., an experienced law firm that has dealt with thousands of cases dealing with personal injury, wrongful death, accidents, family law and criminal defense can be your ally. Get in touch with us by calling us directly through 904 356 8618 of filling out our free case evaluation form. We offer free consultations for most cases and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 times a week.