Difference between Advocate, Lawyer, Barrister

What is the difference between Advocate, Lawyer, Barrister ?

These terms i.e. the Lawyer and Advocate are used as synonyms of each other, but there are some key differences between these two words.


A person who is still pursuing law / LLB is called Lawyer. This person is not eligible to stand in the court to put the stand of his/her clients.

Lawyer is a basic term that refers to any person who has a law degree. 


Advocate is a person who has completed law degree and having registration with Bar Council. Advocate is eligible to stand in the court on behalf of clients.


Advocate is called Barrister in Scottish and South Africa. 

You must remember that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa as a barrister.

Now Let’s have detailed discussion between these two words;

1. Lawyer is a person who is still in the process of  pursuing Law/LL.B. This person is not eligible to stand in the court on behalf of client although he/she can give legal advice. The term lawyer is very popular and original word. 

2. The term advocate is used in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Nations while the term lawyer is used in USA.

3. The Advocate is a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. Advocate is eligible to put the points of his/her clients in front of the court but the lawyer can't do so because he/she is still pursuing law/LLB.

4. An advocate may be a lawyer but a lawyer may not be an advocate .An 'Advocate' is a step ahead of a' lawyer'.

5. Duties of an advocate are: Represent a client in the court of law, Speak on behalf of a client, Plead their case while duties of lawyer are: Give law advice, Role and duties may change depending on the type of lawyer.

It should also be noted that different words are used for the lawyers and advocate in the different countries of the world. 

Hope this clarifies the difference. Still confusion, write us in comment section.

Happy Reading

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