Attorney vs Advocate 【Key Differences Simplified】

 The terms attorney and advocate can both be used to describe someone who represents clients in a court of law, but they don’t mean the same thing. 

The term “attorney” refers to someone who has earned a license to practice law and is working within the legal system of his or her country. In contrast, an “advocate” refers to someone who is advocating for a cause or another person. One example of this is a criminal defense lawyer, who represents a client in court, but is also an advocate for the rights of that client. Another example would be a child advocate, whose job is to fight for the rights of children in court or through other advocacy efforts.

In addition to its legal use, an advocate can also be used as a verb to describe speaking up on the behalf of someone else or supporting them in some way. For example, you might advocate for your friend by telling their boyfriend that he needs to stop being rude about her weight gain. You could also speak up for yourself by advocating against your boss’s rule that everyone has to stay late on Fridays during tax season.

Key Differences Simplified

Advocate: An advocate is “one who supports or defends a cause or belief.” This is someone who speaks out on behalf of another person, like a parent advocating for their child.

Attorney: An attorney is “a person admitted to practice law before a court or other legal authority.” This is someone who uses specific knowledge and training to argue in court on behalf of their client.


An attorney is a person who's lawfully empowered to act for another in all business, professional, or legal transactions, including the signing and sealing of deeds, wills, conveyances, contracts, and other writings requiring a seal.An advocate is a person who is active in supporting or promoting a cause or belief. They are typically held up as an example of righteous thinking and attempt to sway public opinion towards their point of view.
Attorney has a Latin origin, which means to appoint.The English word advocate comes from Latin advocātor, meaning "one who pleads the cause of another" or "defender." The Latin pronouns ad-, "to" + vocāre, "to call," are in use in legal writing.

Difference in Duties

Here we take a look at the difference between the professional duties of advocates vs attorneys.

Attorney Duties

An Attorney is a legal representative who deals with the general legal questions and answers in an organization.

Advocate Duties

The role of an advocate is to put forth arguments before a court or other body. An advocate represents a particular person or party, such as in favor of a law, policy, etc.

Difference in Salary

  • The average salary for a practicing attorney is $130,000, though it generally ranges from $50,000 to $180,000.
  • The average salary for an advocate is $57,000, with a range of $33,000 to $77,000.

Is it better to say, lawyer or attorney?

should you say lawyer or attorney

Although the terms  lawyer and attorney are often used interchangeably, they are in fact distinct. However, these are two separate terms that have different meanings. The words “attorney” and “lawyer” both have confusing origins, have been used in a handful of legal contexts, and each has its own meaning. Whether you call them attorneys or lawyers or anything else is up to you, however, here we will look at the difference between an attorney and a lawyer.

Which is higher, lawyer or attorney?

Calling your lawyer an advocate is probably the worst mistake you can make. Attorney implies a bit more of the scope of their practice. Lawyer – someone who has met training, has passed exams and possesses enough knowledge to represent their client in court or at least with a very large firm.

Advocate – someone who is hired to do something other than representing someone in court or work for a larger firm. So if you want to retain a legal representative and get the best possible legal advice, keep it professional and trust a real attorney.

Do Check Solicitor Vs Lawyer

Can an attorney be an advocate?

Can a attorney be an advocate

Yes, they can. And it comes down to their ability to provide objective and fact-based information to clients.

Can attorneys argue in court?

No. There are many people who think that just because someone is an attorney they will know all the law and be able to argue in court. But they can’t argue in court.

Is advocate a title?

advocate a title

The answer is no, it’s not. Advocate is an occupation. The word has always meant that and can never be called a title. We need to stop referring to attorneys as advocates in order to stop diluting the true meaning of advocates.

Also Check Solicitor vs Barrister

The Difference Between Attorney vs Advocate Explained


In conclusion, a lawyer is someone who advises or represents individuals, businesses, governments, or organizations in legal matters for payment. He or she has gone to law school and passed the bar exam proving he or has been educated in that field. While an advocate gives support to a cause they feel passionate about. Advocates can come from many different professions and any background.

The idea of the lawyer as an advocate is something that’s been ingrained in our society for a while now, and it’s a concept that has served our legal system well. But there are other ways to look at this modern profession, and as technology continues to change the way we live and work, it’s becoming increasingly important to think about how we fit into those changes.


E.A. Gjelten
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