Learn How to Make an Informed Choice When it Comes to Attorneys at Law
All lawyers in the United States are granted the same designation whether they plead cases in court or not. They are all qualified to be called attorney at law. In the United Kingdom, France, and other parts of the world, there are differing titles for lawyers, depending upon whether they work in the courtroom or not.
In the US, an attorney at law is a term interchangeable with the terms attorney, counselor at law, and lawyer.
Every attorney at law in the US is trained and licensed to practice law in a specific jurisdiction. He or she is granted the authority to represent a second party (client) in legal matters and is allowed to give legal advice.
An attorney at law is authorized to practice by the power granted in the highest court in the attorney’s state of practice. Some states pass this right to admit attorneys to a state bar association.
The scope of an attorney at law’s practice is limited to the state in which he or she is admitted. Once admitted to the state’s bar association, however, the attorney is allowed to practice in any court within the state’s jurisdiction.
To plead or argue a case in federal court, an attorney at law is almost always required to be a member of the national bar association.
Within the legal profession, there are specialties from which an attorney at law can choose.
When specializing as a plaintiff’s attorney, the attorney at law represents the party filing suit against another. The defense attorney represents the person named as offender in such a suit. Sometimes an attorney at law will perform legal services for either party while others specialize in specific types of cases, such as business or personal injury.
A transactional attorney at law specializes in contracts (wills, powers of attorney, business matters) and advice as an office practice, without spending much time in court. It’s the litigators who spend the time in the courtroom, and out of it, negotiating agreements, arguing cases, and arbitrating disputes.
An attorney at law who operates in a courtroom is known as a trial lawyer. The lawyers who argue the law during the appeals process are appellate lawyers.
Another designation for an attorney at law is outside versus in-house counsel. The outside attorney at law works from a law firm while the in-house attorney at law works from the legal department of a corporation or other similar entity.