User Review( votes)
You’ve been injured in a car accident and are now suffering from pain, injuries, and mental anguish. Do you just work out a plan for compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company?
Well, you could but, this probably isn’t the best way to handle your situation.
A better option is to hire a law firm for help. But do you hire a lawyer or an attorney?
If you’re like most people, you might be stuck trying to figure out the difference between a lawyer vs. attorney. If so, read on. We’ll help you understand how these two types of professionals are similar and the ways they are different.
When you learn these things, you’ll understand what type to hire for help with your personal injury case.
The Similarity: The Educational Requirements
For a person to become either a lawyer or an attorney, he or she must go to law school. To enter law school, the person must complete a four-year undergraduate program at a college or university.
So after the four years of college, the person must apply to law school; this takes an additional three years to complete, making it a total of seven years of education. This seven years of education is a requirement to become a lawyer or an attorney.
The four-year program a person takes can be in just about anything but most people who plan on attending law school will focus their four-year degree on the field they want to practice in when they complete law school.
For example, someone who wants to become a family lawyer might complete an undergraduate program in sociology or psychology. A person wanting to become an injury lawyer might complete an undergraduate program in political science or a field related to medicine.
It generally doesn’t matter what undergraduate program a person completes. As long as they complete one and pass the requirements for entering law school, the person can then choose a field of law to study.
The Key Difference Between a Lawyer vs. Attorney: Passing the Bar Exam
The American Bar Association (ABA) is the organization that outlines laws, rules, ethical issues, and much more in relation to the field of law, and the ABA states there is one key difference between a lawyer and an attorney.
A lawyer must complete law school only, while an attorney must complete law school and also pass the ABA bar exam.
Without taking the test, a person who completes law school could be a lawyer but not an attorney. Does that make sense?
In other words, attorneys are always lawyers but lawyers aren’t always attorneys. The key difference lies within whether the person took and passed the bar exam or not.
A recent study showed that 97% of all those who graduated from law school chose to take the bar exam within two years after they graduated.
While some lawyers have to take the test multiple times in order to pass, this study basically shows that almost all law school graduates take this exam and end up becoming licensed attorneys.
If a law school graduate decides not to take the test, he or she is still called a lawyer. But this person does not have the qualifications to actually offer legal services to people.
The Services Each Offers
If you browse through websites for lawyers and attorneys, you’ll probably notice that the sites use both terms to refer to their legal staff. This should help you understand that there really is not a huge difference between these terms.
The biggest thing to look for is not whether the person is a lawyer or an attorney, but rather, the specialty the lawyer or attorney offers.
All law firms have staff that can give you legal advice about a situation you’re in. All law firms also have staff that can help you solve legal issues or represent you in court.
These are the types of things all attorneys do. They know the law and offer legal advice and help to people who face legal problems that people can’t handle on their own.
If you’re interested in finding out the difference so that you can hire the right lawyer or attorney for your personal injury case, the truth is that you should look for a personal injury lawyer to hire.
You might wonder why? Well, because this is the branch of law injury lawyers specialize in. They know this branch of law and use it to help victims of accidents.
When you hire an injury lawyer, the lawyer will probably complete these steps:
- Evaluate your case to see if there is evidence of negligence or fault
- Work on researching your case to build a solid case and develop a strategy
- Give you tips to help you have the right proof of your injuries and trauma
- Negotiate with the responsible party
- Walk with you throughout the entire case
The Bottom Line: Lawyers and Attorneys Are Synonymous
As you can see, there is very little difference with a lawyer vs. attorney. In fact, most law firms and consumers use these words interchangeably because they’re so similar.
So, the question is not whether you should hire a lawyer or an attorney. Instead, the question should be which lawyer or attorney would be the best one to hire.
If you’re trying to figure this out for your personal injury case, read our blog. We can give you tips to help you find the right one for your case.