What exactly is a lawyer?

What exactly is a lawyer?

Sehen Sie gerne Filme in Originalsprache? Dann kennen Sie sicher Ausdrücke wie ‘Get me a lawyer’ oder  ‘I want a solicitor’. Beides bedeutet ‘Rechtsantwalt’. Hier lesen Sie, welche Ausdrücke es sonst noch gibt.


Lawyer, solicitor, barrister, attorney, advocate – all these words are the names of legal professions. Their exact meaning depends on which country they are used in.

For example, in Canada, the professions of barrister and solicitor are merged. In parts of the UK, they are separate. And in the USA a lawyer and attorney are the same.

Because the legal systems are so different, it is impossible to give accurate German translations for these words. But here is a description of the duties of each of them.

lawyer (BE and AE)
a person who practices law, an attorney or solicitor
attorney (AE)a more formal word for ‘lawyer’.
solicitor (BE)a member of the legal profession who gives legal advice to clients and draws up documents, in particular for property
deals.  Solicitors often specialise in one particular area – like company law or family law. A solicitor represents clients in court, especially in the lower court.
solicitor (AE)1. the chief law officer of a city, town or government department,
2. a person who tries to obtain business orders, advertising etc.
barrister (BE)Barristers act on instruction from solicitors. They give opinions on complex matters of law and provide a special
advocacy service for clients who require representation in higher courts. They have little or no contact with the general


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