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Difference Between Lawyer and Advocate in India - Advocate vs Lawyer

Difference Between Lawyer and Advocate in India - Advocate vs Lawyer

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on Oct 06, 2023 12:29 PM IST

“Lawyer” and “Advocate” are often used interchangeably in popular culture. However, there are some fundamental differences between a lawyer and an advocate. A lawyer is basically a person who has studied Law and is involved in the legal profession. But, an advocate is a slightly more specific term, used in the context of those lawyers who are authorized to represent a client in a court of law. Thus, it is right to say that all advocates are lawyers, but all lawyers may not be advocates. However, is that the only difference between an advocate and a lawyer? Read the article to know more about the lawyer vs advocate comparison.

Who is a Lawyer?

A law graduate, involved in the legal profession such as those related to giving legal advice, consultation, assisting or any other law profession is called a lawyer. The term “Lawyer” is a very broad term and is used in the context of a legal professional including a barrister or an attorney.

Also Read | Types of law degrees

Who is an advocate?

In legal terms, an advocate is a lawyer who enters into a roll under the provisions of the Advocates Acts 1961. In simple terms, an advocate is a lawyer who is registered with any State Bar Council or Bar Council of India. The conduct of an advocate is governed by the rules of the Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex regulatory body for legal professionals.

What is difference between lawyer and advocate

There are several points to be looked at in the advocate vs lawyer comparison. Some of the points are given in the table below.

Difference Between Lawyer and Advocate

Lawyer

Advocate

A lawyer is any law graduate involved in a legal profession

Advocate represents their clients in the Court of Law

Lawyer can be used in the context of a legal advisor, attorney, solicitor, barrister or even a law professor

Advocates have specified role and duties. It is a more specific term

Lawyers may not be very experienced in the practising law

Advocates are experienced professionals and have cleared a standard Bar examination

Lawyers cannot represent clients in Court of Law, but they can give legal advice, assist their clients in legal matters, or work in the corporate sector as a law professional

Advocates have Certificate of Practice (CoP) issued by the apex regulator of the legal profession and legal education in India. The CoP enables advocates to practice law

Lawyers are not covered under Advocates Act

The conduct of advocates is governed by Advocates Act 1961

Roles and Responsibilities

Whether a person is a lawyer or an advocate, both are legal professionals and have several common roles and responsibilities which their job entails. Given below are a few things which advocates and lawyers do:

  • Provide legal counsel and representation to people, businesses, and governmental organisations.
  • Hold meetings and interact with their clients, coworkers, judges, and other case participants.
  • Analyse and research on legal issues.
  • For people and corporations, interpret laws, decisions, and regulations.
  • Prepare and file legal papers such lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds

Lawyer Vs Advocate: Salary Difference

It must be noted that all advocates are lawyers but all lawyers are not advocates. So,being an advocate one gets an additional qualification to represent clients in addition to all the roles and responsibilities a lawyer can perform. So, becoming an advocate greatly increases the scope of earnings for a lawyer. However, the earnings will also depend on the the reputation of the advocate, type of clients being represented, and the type of cases at hand. On the other hand, a lawyer can find jobs in legal firms, and in the legal department of different organisations.

As per Ambition box data, the average salary of a lawyer in India ranges between Rs. 1-11 lakh p.a. with an average salary of Rs.4.8 lakh p.a. On the other hand the salary of an advocate in India ranges between Rs. 1.1 -9 lakh p.a. with an average salary of 4.9 lakh p.a.

How to Become a Lawyer in India?

To become a lawyer in India aspirants in India can complete a formal law degree and become lawyers. As per the “Rules of Legal Education” given by the Bar Council of India, there are two types of law courses leading to a bachelor's Degree in Law. These are;

LLB course - This course is popularly known as a 3-year LLB degree programme. Law aspirants can undertake this course only after completing graduation from a university recognized by the Bar Council of India.

Also Read | Types of Lawyers in India

Double-degree integrated LLB course

A double-degree integrated course is a combination of Bachelor’ degree in Law and any other Bachelors’ discipline. The degree programme will be of at least five years and students can pursue it right after completing Class 12. Some of the popular 5-year integrated LLB programmes are BA LLB, BBA LLB, BCom LLB and BSc LLB.

After completion of the programme, students are eligible to register themselves with state bar councils. Such law graduates are called lawyers.

Related: Online Law Courses & Certifications

How to become an advocate in India?

A law graduate becomes an advocate only when he/she is registered with the Bar Council of India (BCI). The council conducts an All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to set a standard for advocates. Law graduates who wish to become advocates are required to clear the AIBE exam and obtain a Certificate of Practice from the BCI. Generally, the AIBE exam is conducted twice a year and applications for it are accepted online from the official website of the council.

Those who clear the AIBE exam and have received the CoP from the council are eligible to represent their clients in a Court of Law. These lawyers are called Advocates.

Advocates uphold the interests of their clients and play a crucial role in the administration of justice. They are also bound by the rules of the Bar Council of India and accordingly, they are expected to adhere to the highest standards of probity and honour.
Also, check - Difference Between Judge and Magistrate

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Who is a Lawyer?

Anyone who has completed their legal education and possess the Bachelor of Legislative Law (LLB) degree can be called as a lawyer

2. Who is called an advocate?

Any lawyer whose name has been entered in the roll prepared and maintained by the State Bar Council under section 17 of the Advocates Act, 1961.

3. Who is more powerful - Lawyer or Advocate ?

A lawyer does not have the authority to practise law or represent clients, only an advocate can do so.

4. Can a lawyer become an advocate?

Yes. A lawyer can become an advocate if they clear the All India Bar Examination conducted by the Bar Council of India and their name is entered in roll maintained by the State Bar Council under section 17 of the Advocates Act, 1961.

5. Is a LLB called an advocate?

While possessing an LLB degree is a prerequisite for becoming an advocate, it is not enough. To become an advocate the person’s name must be entered in the roll maintained by the State Bar Council and the person must also clear the All India Bar Examination conducted by the Bar Council of India.

6. Is there any difference between advocate and lawyer?

An advocate can represent clients in court, which a lawyer cannot.

7. Who is better lawyer or advocate?

Becoming an advocate is an additional qualification which a lawyer gets after clearing the AIBE exam. So, an advocate is always better than being only a lawyer.

8. Is LLB graduate a lawyer?

Yes. Anyone who has completed their legal education and obtained the Bachelor of Legislative Law (LLB) degree is a lawyer.

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