What is the Difference Between an Attorney and a Barrister?

What is the Difference Between an Attorney and a Barrister? While attorneys and lawyers are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two. Understanding them can be beneficial for anyone seeking legal help.

A barrister is a lawyer specializing in representing their clients in court. They have an audience in all courts and are usually approached by solicitors to provide specialist advice on a case.

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What is the Difference Between an Attorney and a Barrister?

The words ‘lawyer’ and ‘barrister’ bring images of sharp suits and big courtrooms to mind. Despite this, the two legal professions are far more diverse than most people realise.

Solicitors meet prospective clients and interview them to determine the nature of their legal problems, give them legal advice, draft documents like wills and lease agreements, and negotiate on their behalf in smaller courts LBC Law Group. However, they often refer their cases to barristers when matters become more complicated.

Barristers argue cases in higher courts and must research a case’s facts before they appear. They may also receive briefs on the case from solicitors.

They have the same duties to the courts as solicitors and cannot mislead them in any way. They also have to comply with the rules of conduct and cannot do anything that could be construed as a breach of their ethics.


Attorneys are qualified lawyers that pass the bar exam in their state and practice law. Lawyers may work for a private law firm, or they can also work as in-house counsel for corporations or other organizations.

They represent clients in court, and they defend people against criminal charges or other legal problems. They can also draft legal documents like wills, contracts, and lawsuits.

In some common law jurisdictions, lawyers are also called solicitors, advocate, esquire, and counselor. These terms are often used interchangeably in casual, nontechnical contexts, but they have different meanings.

Barristers are a subset of solicitors, and they specialize in appearing in court. They are often hired by a solicitor to provide specialist advice and representation in a particular field of law, or to appear on an ad hoc basis as required. They are also specialists in advocacy, and they can delve into a client’s character to present their best case possible in court.


The main difference between an attorney and a barrister is that attorneys are legal professionals who can represent clients in court. They have passed the bar exam, which tests their knowledge of state-specific laws and general legal principles.

Attorneys generally work for corporations or other types of organizations. In the United States, they are also eligible to serve as in-house counsel.

A barrister typically acts as an advocate for a client and their solicitor in court. They present the case, examine witnesses and review evidence to decide on the best course of action.

They are called upon by a solicitor to represent a client in court when the case requires a trial appearance. They are often given briefs a day or two before the hearing.


Lawyers advise clients on legal issues and disputes, as well as represent them in court. They also conduct research, draft documents, and supervise paralegals and legal secretaries.

There are many different kinds of lawyers, including those who work for law firms, in government agencies, and in private practice. However, the term “lawyer” is often used to refer to all qualified legal professionals.

In some jurisdictions, the profession is split into barristers and solicitors. While in others, the profession is fused together so there is no difference between barristers and solicitors.

In the United Kingdom, there is a requirement for barristers to join one of four professional associations called Inns (Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple). The inns set professional standards and ensure that barristers adhere to them. To become a barrister, you need to complete a law degree and pass the bar exam. You may also have to take a pupillage, which is a year of work shadowing a barrister and their cases.

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