Difference Between Lawyer and Advocate

What is the difference between lawyer and advocate

Everyone has come across the terms ‘lawyer’ and ‘advocate’ and have 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 a 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 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.

Meet Indira Jaising, The Super-Advocate of India!

Roles and Responsibilities of Lawyers and Advocates

Whether it’s a lawyer or an advocate, extensive and rigorous training of 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 includes:

  • 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.


For Lawyer

1. Integrated LLB (5 years)
2. LLB (3 years)
3. LLM (Masters of Law)

For Advocates

To become an advocate, and represent clients in the 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 for 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

Basis Lawyer Advocate
Description A 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 bar Not 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 the court. The activities of advocates are regulated by the Bar Council of India.
Experience Most lawyers just have academic experience and are yet to engage in legal matters which make them less skilled than an advocate. Given that an advocate has graduated with a law degree and gone further to be admitted in the bar, they are considered to be more skilful and experienced in the legal arena.
Responsibilities Majority of the lawyers are involved in giving legal advice to their clients in matters concerning the law, but they do not have full responsibility of representing a client in the courtroom. .An advocate is responsible for representing clients in courtrooms and plead their cases while at the same time trying to get the best verdict for their client
Compensation The 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.

Also Read

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 lawyer. For more informative articles,  check out our other blogs at LeverageEdu!

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