Attorney vs. Prosecutor 【All Key Differences】

Attorney vs. Prosecutor

 An Attorney is a member of the bar who has been given the right to practice law by the state in which he/she practices. A Prosecutor represents the government in criminal cases. But the differences don’t end here. 

Attorneys become licensed to practice in their state by passing a series of examinations and completing a period of supervised work. To remain licensed, attorneys must continue to meet certain requirements set by their state’s licensing agency, including continuing education and paying state fees. Attorneys are held to high standards of professionalism and must abide by a strict code of ethics.

Prosecutors are often tasked with handling many different aspects of criminal cases including investigating crimes, reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, presenting charges to juries, arguing those charges before juries, and guiding defendants through plea negotiations or trials. They are typically employed by the government—either local governments at the municipal, county, or state levels or the federal level. Although some prosecutors work directly for the police force or district attorney’s office, many are employed by agencies within these offices such as specialized units that focus on white-collar crime or drug crimes or public corruption task forces.

Key Difference Simplified

  • Attorney: An attorney represents private citizens or companies.
  • Prosecutor:  A prosecutor is an attorney who represents a government entity, such as a district attorney’s office, city attorney’s office, or federal prosecutor’s office.


A lawyer in private practice who argues cases in court (or helps with the legal research) on behalf of his clients.A lawyer who works for the government, and who presents the case against a person accused of breaking the law.
The word "attorney" has its roots in the Latin word "attornatus," which means "to turn or transfer." Attornatus was a verb that originated in Roman law, and it was used to describe the transfer of the ownership of property or land from one person to another. A person who attorned was called an attornatus, and the person he or she attorned with—someone who accepted that title—was called an attorney.This word comes from the Latin "prosecutionem," which means something like "beginning" or "opening up." This makes sense, since a prosecutor opens up a case by bringing formal charges.

Difference in Duties

Attorney vs. Prosecutor difference in duties

The prosecutor is responsible for presenting evidence before a jury, who will use this information to decide whether the defendant should be found guilty or not guilty of their charges. The job demands a thorough knowledge of the laws and procedures for prosecuting criminals. The job requires an in-depth knowledge of law and procedures for prosecuting criminals. A prosecutor will typically remain on a case from beginning to end, though in some jurisdictions they may step aside if any conflicts of interest arise. A prosecutor’s work is extremely important—they are the ones who ensure that criminals go to jail, which ultimately allows everyone else to feel safer.

This is in contrast to an attorney, which is a type of lawyer who serves as a legal advisor or representative for a client. Like prosecutors, attorneys also specialize in specific areas of law and can specialize further into subcategories such as divorce attorneys or criminal defense attorneys. They are responsible for helping clients understand their rights and how laws apply to them personally. Their role is one that involves looking out for their client’s best interests while also ensuring they understand their options and follow appropriate procedures. In some cases, an attorney may need to represent a client before a judge instead of a jury depending upon the circumstances surrounding the case.

Difference in Salary

An expert’s ability to complete a task or solve a problem is determined by their level of experience, which in turn plays a role in their respective earnings.

  • The average salary for an attorney is about $130,000 per year, with some earning up to $200,000.
  • The average salary for a prosecutor is around $50,000 or so per year.

Can prosecutors ask leading questions?

Yes, but there are certain conditions that must be met in order to do so. A leading question is a kind of question that suggests an answer or tends to influence the witness. A prosecutor may ask a leading question:

  • The witness has been trained by the defense attorney.
  • The witness has not been responsive to questions asked previously

Also Check Lawyer vs Barrister

Why would someone choose to be an attorney or a prosecutor?

attorney or prosecutor

Attorneys choose to become attorneys because they wish to use their legal knowledge to help others. The legal profession is generally viewed as being highly prestigious, and many young people dream of becoming lawyers.

Law school is long and difficult, but it can pay off in the form of steady, well-paying work in the later years of your career after you’ve passed the bar exam. Attorneys are often called upon to give advice on important matters, and they can expect to travel frequently for court appearances and depositions.

Check Out Attorney vs Advocate

Who has a tougher job, the prosecutor or the attorney?

Attorney vs. Prosecutor job

Both jobs demand long hours, and both are highly stressful. The question of whether a prosecutor or an attorney has the tougher job is a difficult one to answer. Both jobs have different difficulty levels & focus areas. The two jobs also have many commonalities: both prosecutors and attorneys prepare for and participate in trials; both must be able to argue their cases effectively; and both deal with people who may be upset that they’re being prosecuted or charged with a crime.


The prosecutor is a government attorney who tries to obtain criminal convictions for those accused of a crime. The job of the prosecutor is to make sure that there’s a fair trial, and that justice is served.

Prosecutors are also in charge of determining if someone should face trial, or if they should plead guilty. They’re also in charge of filing the appropriate paperwork so that a person can be convicted once they have pleaded guilty.


E.A. Gjelten