Summary: Learn more about the proper definition of a lawyer and all of its different synonyms in this article.
The term lawyer gets thrown around in conversation in reference to a lot of different meanings. Generally, it is used correctly, other times not. Lawyers take a practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to find solutions to specific problems. The term “lawyer” first originated from the Middle English word “lawyere” between 1350 and 1400 AD.
Lawyer is a noun, meaning a person whose profession through training is to represent clients in a court of law, guide clients and otherwise argue legal matters for clients. Other top terms for someone who is a lawyer include advocate and counselor. Lawyer can also be a verb when used without an object such as “to work as a lawyer” or “practice law.” When used as a verb with an object, it is used such as “to submit paperwork to a lawyer for advice.”
People also use these terms in place of lawyer: attorney, barrister, counsel, counsellor, defender, jurist, mouthpiece, pleader, practitioner, proctor, procurator, and solicitor. Less common replacements are attorney-at-law, legal adviser, legal eagle, legist, member of the law, and jurisprudent.
Depending on the jurisdiction, the role of the lawyer will vary as well as the most common term. In Australia, lawyer is used in conjunction with barrister and solicitor. In Canada, lawyer only refers to those who have been called to the bar. In India, lawyer does not necessarily carry any weight, but the word “advocate” is the official term per the Advocates Act of 1961. The list goes on.
The types of responsibilities that a lawyer takes on depend on where they work and how many years of experience they have under their belt. Generally speaking, a lawyer works with their clients to find a legal solution to a problem ranging from intellectual property to criminal acts to just about anything you can think of. They find solutions through skillful negotiation, deep understanding of the laws, and the ability to research and interpret laws based on how they applied in similar circumstances in the past.