Whether you’re just beginning your career or are a seasoned professional, it’s important to understand the various titles that lawyers can have. While these titles are often used interchangeably, they don’t always mean the same thing and can lead to confusion if you don’t know what they all mean.

Attorney vs. Lawyer

The term “lawyer” refers to any legal professional who is licensed to practice law in their jurisdiction. In the United States, this includes attorneys who have passed the bar exam.

Attorneys typically work in a firm where they provide services to their clients and act as advocates on behalf of their clients. They also perform research and make recommendations.

A lawyer can help their clients navigate the legal system and represent them in court. They can advocate for their clients in matters such as bankruptcy, divorce, employment law, and many other issues.

They can also advise their clients about contracts and environmental laws.

In addition to working in law firms, some lawyers also work for government agencies and corporations. Some of these positions require extensive experience in the legal field and may not be for everyone.

What is the difference between an attorney and a lawyer?

A lawyer is a person who has earned a degree from a law school or college and has passed the bar exam. They are licensed to practice law in the state they live in and are a member of the State Bar Association.

While this is a common way to identify a lawyer, it’s important to note that not all attorneys are attorneys. This is because some have not completed law school and have not taken the bar exam.

The word “lawyerâ€​ is not capitalized in a sentence unless it is part of a name, is the first word in a sentence, or is a proper noun. For example, please excuse the lawyer or Lawyer Smith.

When you are addressing an attorney in writing, use their preferred title when communicating with them. Choose a title that reflects the type of relationship you have with the attorney, such as Mr. or Ms. If an attorney has a business card or letterhead, use it. Recommended this site product liability lawyer washington dc.

Tip: When referring to an attorney in a social context, you should use their first name. This can be tricky if they have a professional title as well as a courtesy title such as “Mr. or Ms.â€​ It’s best to ask if you are using the courtesy title on a professional letterhead and if it’s their preferred designation.


The term “esquire” is a courtesy title that only has significance in the legal field, but it’s still commonly used by people outside of the legal field as well. While it’s not an official title in modern times, it is a remnant of an archaic class system.

If you are referring to an attorney who has graduated from law school but has not yet passed the bar, it’s better to call them “so and so, J.D.” or “juris doctor,” which is a legal designation that signifies that they have earned a legal degree.