The Key Differences Between A Lawyer And A Solicitor

The law in most countries is very explicit and has representatives working under it. We have judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and solicitors, among many more. And today, we will focus on lawyers and solicitors. Despite both parties having significant roles to fill in the judicial world, they too have differences. And this piece will cover the major ones. Want to find out more? Read on.

Location of operations

If you look at the work they get done, you will say that they are one and the same, of which they generally are, but they are referred differently according to the geographical location they are practicing law in. In the US, they are called lawyers, and in European countries are called Solicitors. There are solicitors in Ireland and lawyers in the US.

The regulatory bodies

Lawyers are regulated by the State Bar Association, while the Solicitors Regulation Authority governs the solicitors in the respective geographical locations. Each body has its rules and regulations that qualified law practitioners must follow. To practice law in either Europe or the USA, one must be licensed and must have passed an exam set by these regulatory bodies.


A lawyer is majorly appointed to represent one in a court of law for a legal case. And they also help with the legality when it comes to paperwork and representations. Solicitors majorly get paid to advise clients on legal matters like the changing of asset ownership and many more. They can also play the role of a litigator where two parties are not seeing eye to eye. As lawyers are more concentrated on court matters, solicitors deal with other legal issues outside the court.

Qualifications requirements

To become a lawyer, you must graduate from a certified law school with a bachelor’s degree. After that, you must attend law school at law school for specialized teaching, where you will undertake a bar exam at the end of those three years. To become a solicitor, you take a three-year graduate degree, then a one-year legal practice course, followed by a two-year apprenticeship.

Location of practice

Different countries have different rules when it comes to both parties. For instance, some lawyers are regulated and allowed to practice nationwide, while some may only practice where they have a license. A country like New Zealand allows its solicitors to practice law in any part of the country. In the United States, lawyers are only permitted to operate in only the areas they hold licenses.

Take away

Lawyers and solicitors are most times confused, and we do hope this simple differentiation of what they are and what they do will help you tell them apart. In a nutshell, their main differences are location-based, individual roles, governing bodies, and qualifications to be pass to become either a lawyer or solicitor. All in all, they all know all the traditional ways, and if you have a case that needs legal counsel, they are the perfect people for you. You just have to pick of the two that will get the work done best.

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