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What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?

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Are there certain benefits to picking one over the other for criminal court? #criminal-law

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Julie Line’s Answer


Hi Lupita -

As a lawyer and an attorney, I think the terms are used interchangeably nowadays.

I think there might historically be a technical difference (attorney actually admitted to bar) , but that is lost in modern terminology and usage. Many litigators and trial lawyers (who go to court) I have known choose to call themselves "lawyers" instead of "attorneys," maybe because the term "lawyer" sounds more "hands on."

In criminal court, or in any legal matter pick an experienced lawyer or attorney you trust and with whom you are comfortable, however he or she identifies themselves! And many public defenders (working to defend the indigent) are among the finest lawyers or attorneys I have known.