Difference Between Lawyer and Advocate

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What is the difference between lawyer and advocate

Everyone has come across the terms ‘lawyer’ and ‘advocate’ and has thought of them as synonymous with each other. In the legal domain, lawyers and advocates are the professionals who are responsible for proving legal redressal in the court of law. Although these two words are very often interchanged, there are some basic differences that set them apart. This article is geared towards elucidating the distinction between a lawyer and an advocate, for a layman to understand!

Who is a Lawyer?

A lawyer is a basic term that designates anyone who attended law school and has a law degree. There can be various types of lawyers, such as;

  • Advocates,
  • Attorneys
  • Solicitors, etc. 

All of these are considered to be specialists in different fields of law. A Lawyer can sometimes be not eligible to stand in court to represent a client.

Many lawyers work in the corporate field. If a law graduate wishes to work in the corporate field then he has to surrender his Sanad. Thus law graduates working in corporate fields are not eligible to appear in the courts of law. Thus, corporate lawyers cannot be called Advocates.     

Must read: Types of Lawyer: A Comprehensive Guide

Who is an Advocate?

Advocate” means an advocate entered in any role under the provision of The Advocate Act 1961. Section 2(1) (a) of the Advocates Act 1961 defines “Advocate” as 

The word Advocate is usually used for a lawyer only. This is a person who is a specialist in law and is eligible to stand in court on behalf of his/her clients in an attempt to help them win the case or be compensated, depending on the nature of the case.

In basic terms, all Advocates are Lawyers but all Lawyers are not Advocates.

The next step after completing a law degree, the candidate has to take an exam conducted by the All India Bar Association (AIB). After clearing the exam, the student gets ‘Sanad’, which is the eligibility criterion to practice law in India. Thus, a Law Graduate who has a Sanad can be called an advocate.

Must Read: Meet Indira Jaising, The Super-Advocate of India!

Difference between Lawyer and Advocate

The major differences between a lawyer and an advocate are given below:

A lawyer is anyone who knows the law or has studied the law for five years.The title ‘Advocate’ may be used only by those who have obtained a licence from the Bar Council of India after passing the Bar exam.
A lawyer’s primary responsibility is to provide legal advice to their clients. They can also do research and write legal documents like contracts and briefs.An Advocate’s primary responsibility is to represent clients in court.
Lawyers have less experience because they have only recently graduated from law school and have not yet practised independently.Advocates are skilled professionals with years of experience representing clients in court.
Because they are less experienced and do not represent clients in court, they charge less than advocates.They can charge a high fee for representing a client in court because they are more experienced and knowledgeable.

Roles and Responsibilities of Lawyers and Advocates

Whether it’s a lawyer or an advocate, extensive and rigorous training in the judicial arena and getting familiarised with the laws laid down by the constitution is essential. The main responsibilities and duties of a legal professional include:

  • Advice and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes
  • Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case.
  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems.
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses.
  • As advocates, they represent one of the parties in a criminal or civil trial by presenting evidence and arguing in support of their client.
  • Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds.


The qualifications required to become a lawyer or an advocate are given below:

For LawyersFor Advocates
Integrated LLB (5 years) 
LLB (3 years)
 LLM (Masters of Law)
To become an advocate, and represent clients in court, the candidate needs to pass the exam conducted by the Bar Council of India.

Average Salary

Usually, a lawyer doesn’t have a fixed income, as all the lawyers are self-employed professionals, who earn their living by charging fees according to the case of an individual. The fee range of an Advocate or lawyer can range from ₹1,56,000 for a fresher to ₹4,68,000 for an experienced professional. For senior-level or corporate lawyers, the salary can even go as far as ₹40,00,000.

Difference between Lawyer and Advocate

DescriptionA lawyer is a basic term that designates anyone who attended law school and has a law degree.This is a person who is a specialist in law and is eligible to stand in court on behalf of his/her clients.
Admission to the barNot all lawyers are eligible to be admitted to the bar and the Bar Council of India does not control the conduct of lawyers.All advocates are eligible for admission to the bar to represent their clients in court. The activities of advocates are regulated by the Bar Council of India.
ExperienceMost lawyers just have academic experience and are yet to engage in legal matters which makes them less skilled than an advocate.Given that an advocate has graduated with a law degree and gone further to be admitted to the bar, they are considered to be more skilful and experienced in the legal arena.
ResponsibilitiesThe majority of lawyers are involved in giving legal advice to their clients in matters concerning the law, but they do not have full responsibility for representing a client in the courtroom..An advocate is responsible for representing clients in courtrooms and pleading their cases while at the same time trying to get the best verdict for their client
CompensationThe cost of hiring an advocate is much higher because they are highly knowledgeable, and experienced in handling legal matters.The charges of consulting a lawyer might be comparatively lower because such a person may not have the necessary experience to litigate.


What is the difference between an advocate lawyer and a barrister?

A lawyer is someone who manages lawsuits for clients and advises them on their legal rights and obligations. A barrister is a legal practitioner whose primary responsibility is to advocate in court. They typically have very few interactions with clients.

Who can be called a lawyer?

A lawyer is a professional who is qualified to provide legal advice or to represent someone in legal proceedings. A lawyer is also known as an attorney, a solicitor, a counsellor, a barrister, or — in a negative sense — an ambulance chaser.

Who is called an advocate?

In law, an advocate is a person who is professionally qualified to plead another’s cause in a court of law. Advocate is a technical term used primarily in legal systems derived from Roman law.

Is there any difference between a lawyer and an advocate?

The distinction between an advocate and a lawyer is that the advocate is a licenced professional with the authority to practise law. Lawyers can only provide clients with legal advice, whereas attorneys can represent clients in court. In general, anyone with a legal education is considered a lawyer.

The Law field in today’s time is one of the most respected, reputed, and always a field of much demand. There are a wide number of Job profiles in the field. Whether it’s an advocate or a lawyer, their main task is to fight for justice for someone. We hope, with this article you were able to understand the difference between an advocate and a lawyer. For more informative articles,  check out our other blogs at LeverageEdu!

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