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What is the Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates?

Author : Tanya Kaushal

Updated On : August 25, 2023


Reader’s Digest - If you've ever wondered what the difference between lawyers and advocates is, you're in luck. This blog will clear even the thinnest confusion on their meaning, roles, salary, scope, etc. 

If you've ever been confused by the terms "lawyer" and "advocate" and wondered if both are the same? While they may seem synonyms for being qualified legal professionals, there is a fundamental distinction between them. 

A lawyer is a professional who has been trained in the legal field, while an advocate is someone who actively promotes a specific cause or viewpoint.

Here is a sneak peek into topics: 

  • Overview of the Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates: Let's set the stage by understanding the core disparities between these two legal personas. 🕵️‍♂️👩‍⚖️
  • Defining the Distinction: Lawyer vs. Advocate: What exactly sets these terms apart? We'll decode the definitions. ðŸ“œ
  • Stepping into Shoes: Job Roles of Lawyers and Advocates: Ever wondered what a day in their lives looks like? We'll explore the exciting job roles. ðŸ‘¨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️
  • Crafting the Skill Set: What It Takes to Excel: Beyond the courtroom, what skills must you master? We'll unveil the attributes that define legal success. ðŸ› ï¸
  • Nurturing the Mind: Educational Qualifications Explored: Get ready to untangle the academic journey required to embark on these illustrious careers. 📚
  • The Road to Robes: The Complete Journey Unveiled: It's not just about being a part of the legal world – it's about embracing the journey. We'll guide you through the process. ðŸ—ºï¸

Basic Overview of the Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates

Once upon a time, there lived two young men who wanted to become lawyers. They went to the same university to study law, and after graduating, they chose law as a career. The first man chose to become a lawyer, and the second chose to become an advocate. 

Ravi aspired to become a lawyer, driven by his fascination with courtrooms. Meanwhile, Kishan dreamt of being an attorney, intrigued by the complexities of legal research.

One day, they met an experienced judge who explained the difference: Lawyers advise on law matters, while attorneys represent clients in court. Inspired, Ravi embraced advocacy, and Kishan dove into the research world.

Both learned that attorneys champion their clients while lawyers offer counsel. They embarked on their distinct paths with newfound clarity, each contributing uniquely to law.

Here's a table highlighting the differences between Lawyers and advocates, along with their respective salaries for reference:

Aspect Lawyer Advocate
Definition A person who is trained in and licensed to practice law. A legal professional who represents clients in court proceedings.
Scope May work in various legal roles, including advisory, research, and documentation. Focuses primarily on representing clients in court and legal proceedings.
Representation May provide legal advice and services outside of court. Primarily represents clients in court, arguing cases and presenting legal arguments.
Engagement Can be employed in law firms, corporations, government agencies, or work independently. Often works as an independent practitioner or part of a law firm, focusing on litigation.
Specialization Can specialize in different areas of law, such as corporate, intellectual property, family, etc. Advocates can specialize in various legal fields, but their primary role is litigation.
Court Appearance Not all lawyers regularly appear in court; many focus on non-litigation tasks. Advocates frequently appear in court to represent clients during legal proceedings.
Educational Path Requires a law degree (LLB) and passing the bar exam to practice law. Similar educational path as a lawyer, with an additional focus on courtroom practice.
Title Usage The term "lawyer" is more inclusive and can refer to both lawyers and advocates. The term "advocate" specifically refers to a legal professional practising in court.
Salary Range Salaries can vary widely based on specialization, experience, and location. Salaries for advocates can range from ₹3,00,000 to ₹10,00,000 or more annually, depending on factors like experience and expertise.

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Definition Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates

Technically, there is a significant difference between the definition of a lawyer and an advocate. Know from below:

Definition Who is a Lawyer? Who is an Advocate?
Description A lawyer is an individual who has undergone legal education and training. They are equipped to offer legal guidance, prepare legal documents, and represent clients during legal proceedings. They have diverse expertise in criminal, family, and corporate law fields. An advocate is a specialized legal professional who focuses on specific areas of law. For instance, some advocates specialize in family law, while others concentrate on criminal law. They provide legal counsel and stand as client representatives in court proceedings.
Scope of Work Lawyers are qualified to work in various legal domains and can appear in courts of law, providing counsel and representation. Advocates excel in specific law areas, channelling their expertise to cases within those domains and representing clients in legal proceedings.

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Job Roles Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates

The legal profession comprises many different types of professionals, each with its own responsibilities. One of the most important distinctions is between lawyers and advocates.

Aspect Advocate Lawyer
Primary Focus Represents clients in court proceedings, arguing cases and presenting legal arguments. Provides legal advice, research, and services to clients in and out of court.
Court Appearance Frequently appears in court, presenting cases, cross-examining witnesses, and making arguments. May or may not regularly appear in court, as many lawyers focus on non-litigation tasks.
Legal Advocacy Primarily focuses on legal advocacy, presenting a client's case to achieve desired outcomes. Offers legal guidance, drafting contracts agreements, and providing expert opinions.
Expertise Specializes in litigation, mastering courtroom procedures, rules of evidence, and legal arguments. Specializes in various areas of law, offering legal expertise in advisory roles and documentation.
Conflict Resolution Acts as a representative and advocate for clients, striving to resolve disputes through legal means. Assists clients in conflict resolution, which may involve negotiation, mediation, or litigation.
Client Interaction Interacts closely with clients, advising them on legal strategies, options, and potential outcomes. Engages with clients to provide legal solutions, educate them on legal matters, and facilitate negotiations.
Case Strategy Develops strategic approaches for court cases, including gathering evidence and drafting pleadings and arguments. Strategic advice, research, and legal analysis are offered to guide clients' decisions and actions.
Courtroom Skills Focuses on developing courtroom skills, including cross-examination, presentation, and oral advocacy. Emphasizes strong communication skills for client consultations, negotiations, and document preparation.
Advocacy Impact Directly influences court proceedings and outcomes through persuasive arguments and legal representation. Impacts legal matters through expert advice, research, and guiding clients toward informed decisions.
Legal Documentation Prepares legal documents for court, such as pleadings, motions, affidavits, and legal briefs. Drafts contracts, agreements, and legal documents and conducts legal research for advisory purposes.

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Skill Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates 

Here, we’ll explore the difference between the skills needed to become a lawyer and an advocate so you can decide which path is right for you.

Skills Required Skills Required to Become A Lawyer Skills Required to Become An Advocate
Research and Analysis Strong research, analysis, and problem-solving skills Critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills
Communication Skills Excellent communication, interpersonal, and negotiation skills Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Time Management Ability to manage multiple tasks and prioritize workload Ability to work long hours in high-pressure situations
Strategic Thinking Ability to think strategically, plan, and organize effectively Ability to handle complex cases
Legal Document Interpretation Ability to interpret complex legal documents Good writing and drafting skills
Attention to Detail Excellent attention to detail and accuracy Knowledge of legal principles and procedures
Independence Ability to work independently with minimal supervision Negotiating and persuasive skills
Teamwork Ability to work productively in a team environment Ability to stay up-to-date on changes in laws and regulations

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Educational Qualifications Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates 

Note down these differences between the educational qualifications of a lawyer and an advocate.

Educational Qualifications To Become a Lawyer in India To Become an Advocate
Bachelor's Degree A Bachelor's degree in Law (LLB) from a recognized university Bachelor's degree in law from a recognized university
Enrollment Enrollment with the State Bar Council Clearance of the All India Bar Examination
Experience Practicing law for a certain period of time Enrollment with the Bar Council of India
Bar Examination Clearing All India Bar Examination (AIBE) conducted by the Bar Council of India (BCI) Internship with a practising advocate

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Complete Process Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates 

How to Become A Lawyer in India?

Knowing how to become a lawyer in India is a lengthy and challenging. 

  • To become a lawyer, an individual must complete several steps and meet specific educational and experience requirements. 
  • Firstly, a person wanting to become a lawyer must obtain a bachelor's degree in law from a recognized university or law school. 
  • This degree will usually take three to five years to complete. 
  • After completing the degree, the individual must pass the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) conducted by the Bar Council of India. 
  • The next step is to complete an apprenticeship with a practising lawyer or firm. 
  • This apprenticeship can last anywhere from three to five years and will help the individual gain hands-on experience in the field. 
  • The final step is to be admitted to the bar by the Bar Council of India. This involves passing an oral examination and a written examination. 
  • Once admitted to the bar, the individual can begin practising law. 
  • Becoming a lawyer in India is a long and challenging process. However, it is possible with dedication and hard work.

How to Become An Advocate?

  • Becoming an advocate is a great way to positively impact the world and help those in need. 
  • To become an advocate, specific steps and processes must be followed. 
  • First, you must understand the issue you are advocating for, research relevant laws or policies, and determine the best way to advocate for the cause. 
  • After that, you must build a network of individuals who support the cause and create a plan for bringing the issue to the public. 
  • Finally, you must stay informed about the issue and keep up with current events to ensure effective advocacy. 
  • With dedication, hard work, and a little

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Work Schedule Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates 

A lawyer and an advocate share the goal of providing legal representation. However, their work schedules vary.

Work Schedule Difference Lawyers Advocates
Daily Routine Lawyers balance professional and personal aspects daily. Consultations, research, and document preparation fill their workday. Advocates maintain a daily routine for effectiveness. Mornings include exercise, emails, court hearings, research, networking, and personal time.
Evening Activities Evening court hearings or further research are expected. Leisure time for reading, exercise, and family is valued. Advocates may allocate time for family and leisure after court hearings and research.
Preparation for Court Lawyers prepare for court appearances and hearings. Advocates attend court hearings meetings and ensure they're well-prepared for each appearance.
Legal Document Creation Lawyers work on creating legal documents as needed. Advocates research and prepare legal documents, applying deep legal understanding to each case.
Networking Lawyers may engage in networking to grow their clientele. Advocates build relationships with legal peers, fostering potential referral business.
Personal Time Lawyers cherish personal time for relaxation and family bonding. Advocates emphasize the importance of family and leisure activities to recharge outside of work.

An Advocate’s disciplined daily routine is essential for a successful legal career. It helps keep them organized and focused on their tasks and lets them stay on top of their cases.

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Salary Prospects Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates 

There is a considerable difference between the salary of a lawyer and an advocate. Know from below.

Salary Prospects Difference Lawyers Advocates
Salary Range Lawyers' salaries in India vary based on experience, location, and practice area. Starting from ₹5,00,000 to ₹12,00,000 p.a. Advocates' salaries range widely based on experience, law type, and location, averaging around ₹8 to ₹10 lakhs p.a.
Location Impact Due to demand, metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore yield higher salaries. A senior advocate or partner in a law firm can earn between ₹12 to ₹20 lakhs p.a. with reputation and experience.
Specialized Areas Expertise in corporate, tax, and IP law leads to significantly higher earnings. Highly experienced advocates with a strong reputation can command even higher salaries based on their standing.
Public vs. Private Sector Public-sector lawyers earn less than those in the private sector. Govt. lawyers may make ₹4,00,000 - ₹8,00,000 p.a. Salary varies greatly based on experience, expertise, and firm size, with some advocates earning substantial sums.

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Scope Difference Between Lawyers & Advocates 

The scope of becoming a lawyer and advocate is different. Read below to get a brief understanding.

Aspect Scope as a Lawyer Scope as an Advocate
Promising Future A lawyer's career is promising, with increasing demand due to evolving legal frameworks driven by technology. Advocacy holds a bright future, given the demand for justice and fairness, further boosted by technological advancements.
Interpreting Laws Lawyers must interpret and apply laws and regulations, especially in a more interconnected world. Advocates are crucial in guiding individuals and organizations through the legal landscape, providing clarity in an increasingly complex society.
Mediation and Litigation Lawyers' demand remains high for mediating and litigating court cases, ensuring justice is served. With their expertise, advocates continue to bridge the gap, representing clients and championing their causes within the legal system.
Digital Expertise Lawyers will be essential to navigate the digital realm, interpreting and applying laws to online commerce and communication. Advocates will guide clients through the complexities of digital transactions, ensuring legal compliance and protection in the digital age.
Legal Landscape The ever-changing legal landscape ensures a bright future for lawyers who can adapt and excel in various legal contexts. Advocates will find opportunities to shape the legal system's future, resolving legal challenges and driving equitable outcomes.
Guiding Individuals Lawyers will help individuals and businesses make informed decisions, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. Advocates provide individuals and organizations with the direction to navigate legal complexities and achieve desired outcomes.
Impact on Society Lawyers' roles extend to shaping legal processes and compliance, contributing to a just and regulated society. Advocates directly impact society by advocating for justice, equity, and fairness, making a lasting difference in people's lives.
Personal Satisfaction A fulfilling career as a lawyer involves applying legal expertise to solve complex challenges and protect clients' interests. Advocacy offers personal satisfaction as you contribute to positive change, ensuring access to justice and safeguarding individual and societal rights.

Which is the Best: Lawyers Or Advocates?

The decision to pursue a career as a lawyer or advocate is personal and requires a lot of research and soul-searching. 

  • Both offer rewarding and challenging careers that can lead to a lifetime of financial security and personal satisfaction. Ultimately, the best option for you depends on your skills, interests, and long-term career goals. 
  • If you're interested in a career involving a lot of research, analysis, and problem-solving, then becoming a lawyer may be your best option
  • Lawyers must be knowledgeable about the law and be able to look at a case from all angles to find solutions. 
  • If you're looking for a career that involves making a difference in the world, then becoming an advocate may be the right choice. 
  • Advocates work to ensure that everyone has access to justice, and they use their voices to speak out against injustice and fight for the rights of marginalised people. 

No matter which career path you choose, you'll find that both lawyers and advocates have the potential to make an impact and create meaningful change in the world.


In conclusion, in the world of law, the terms "lawyer" and "advocate" may often be used interchangeably, but they carry distinct roles and responsibilities. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Lawyers and advocates have distinct roles, with lawyers offering legal advice and advocates representing clients in court.
  • Lawyers can work in various legal capacities, while advocates primarily focus on litigation.
  • Advocates engage in court appearances and possess specialized skills in litigation and advocacy.
  • Educational paths for both lawyers and advocates involve law degrees and bar examinations.
  • Lawyers' work includes research, communication, and varied legal tasks, while advocates emphasize courtroom skills and client representation.
  • Salary ranges for lawyers and advocates can vary based on specialization and experience.
  • Lawyers contribute to legal compliance, while advocates champion justice and societal rights.
  • Career choice depends on personal skills, interests, and goals, with both paths offering opportunities for impact and change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a lawyer and an advocate?

What type of legal advice can a lawyer provide?

What type of legal representation can an advocate provide?

How do lawyers and advocates differ in terms of professional experience?

What type of court proceedings are usually handled by lawyers?

What type of court proceedings are usually handled by advocates?

How do lawyers and advocates differ in their approach to resolving legal disputes?

How do lawyers and advocates differ in fee structure?


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