The Difference Between a Lawyer And An Advocate Many People Don’t Know

Over the years, a lot of people — possibly even you — have had trouble telling the difference between a lawyer and an advocate. People who find themselves in legal problems occasionally are unsure of whether they require a lawyer or an advocate. It’s crucial to first clarify what an attorney does.

Let’s simplify matters for now. In the legal fraternity, the words ‘Lawyer’ and ‘Advocate are often used as synonyms. But it is pertinent to know that there are differences in the meanings of the two words.

Who is a Lawyer and an Advocate?

A lawyer is a basic term that refers to any person who has a law degree. There can be various types of lawyers, such as advocates, attorneys, solicitors, etc. All of these are considered to be specialists in different fields of law. A Lawyer can sometimes be not eligible to stand in a court to represent a client.

Basic Difference:

Counsel Isaac Ssemakadde told this website that in Uganda, a lawyer is anyone who has graduated from university with LLB degree (bachelor of laws undergraduate degree) while an advocate has graduated from Law Development Centre (LDC), and has registered with the Law Council as a member of the roll of advocates who are licensed to conduct legal practice every year.

In basic terms, it can be said that all Advocates are Lawyers but all Lawyers are not Advocates.

“In the other hand, many also Lawyers work in Corporate Field. Law Graduates working in Corporate Fields are not eligible to appear in the courts of law. Thus Corporate Lawyers who are not eligible to appear in the courts of law cannot be called Advocates,” Counsel Ssemakadde added.

Other Differences:

To understand more differences go through the below table Differences between Lawyer and Advocate-

Lawyer Advocate
The term ‘lawyer’ is very general and used to designate anyone having degree of law On the other hand, an Advocate is a Law graduate enrolled with the bar council and eligible to represent his client in the court of law.
Bar Council does not regulate the conduct of Lawyers Bar Council of Uganda regulates and controls the activities of Advocates
Lawyers don’t have Court Room Experience and mostly have academic experience Advocates have Court Experience and can conduct cases effectively.
Lawyers can engage themselves in any business or profession. Advocates cannot engage themselves in any business or profession. However they can be sleeping partner in a firm or business.
Lawyers can be involved in full time academic activities such as Teaching etc. Advocates can also engage themselves in academic activities but not as full time.


In short, it can be concluded that a Lawyer who can represent clients in courts is called an Advocate.

Whereas a lawyer who is not eligible to represent clients in court cannot be called an advocate. An advocate conducts a case in the court on behalf of his clients. Advocate is just a category under the term Lawyer. Thus, All advocates are Lawyers and not all Lawyers are advocates.


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