Lawyer? Attorney? Counsellor? What’s the Difference?

n. (14c)

1. Someone who, having been licensed to practice law, is qualified to advise people about legal matters, prepare contracts and other legal instruments, and represent people in court. — lawyerly, lawyerlike, adj. lawyerdom, n.

Learn more about lawyers here.


1. Strictly, one who is designated to transact business for another; a legal agent. — aka attorney-in-fact; private attorney.

2. Someone who practices law; LAWYER. — Abbr. att’y. — aka (in sense 2) attorney-at-lawpublic attorney.  Pl. attorneys. [1]

private attorney:

1. Same as attorney in fact.  Hall v Sawyer (NY) 47 Barb 116, 119.

attorney in fact:

1. An agent or representative authorized by a power of attorney to act for his principal in certain matters.  3 Am J2d Agency § 23.

An agent, sometimes referred to as a private attorney who is authorized by his principal, either for some particular purpose, or to do a particular act, not of a legal character.
     Such an agent is often designated by the word “attorney” after his name.  Hall v Sawyer, 47 Barb (NY) 116, 119. [2]


1. An attorney; an attorney representing a party in a legal action; legal counsel.
     See assigned counselof counselright to counsel.


1. An attorney. [3]

Also see Private Attorney General


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]:  Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.



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