What's the Difference Between a Lawyer and Attorney?

In the United States, the terms “lawyer” and “attorney” are usually used interchangeably. 


However, according to LawyerEdu, there is a small—but important—distinction. A lawyer is someone who has graduated law school, whereas an attorney is a lawyer who has passed the bar exam and is licensed to practice law in a given jurisdiction. 


An attorney is legally qualified to practice law in court; a lawyer may or may not. All attorneys are lawyers, but all lawyers are not attorneys. 


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