Attorney Vs Lawyer – What is the Difference?

Posted by : Stevenson & Murray on September 15, 2022

Many of the situations that would lead to you needing to hire legal counsel happen very suddenly, often with little to no prior warning. Car accidents, workplace injuries, and accidents that occur offshore all can generate substantial damages and very complex legal disputes. While some people may attempt to handle their recoveries from these incidents alone, this is never a wise option for anyone, especially anyone who has suffered severe injuries.

Ultimately, many people find themselves hurt and economically strained to their limit with no idea how they can recover. When another party is responsible for putting you and your family in this situation, you need legal counsel you can trust to ensure accountability for the losses you sustained. Many in this situation recognize the fact that they need to hire legal representation, and the terms “attorney” and “lawyer” are used interchangeably to identify those chosen to represent them.

Though often used in identical ways to indicate legal representatives, these terms actually mean different things. An attorney is a lawyer who meets specific professional criteria. A lawyer is simply an individual who has obtained a law degree and may or may not have passed any bar exams. While many people may call their attorneys lawyers, the reality is that if you need legal representation, you can only find it from an attorney licensed to practice law, not just someone who has a law degree.

What to Expect From an Attorney

Hiring legal representation can ensure the best possible outcome to whatever type of case you currently face. Instead of trying to meet procedural demands and filing deadlines while managing your medical recovery, your attorney can handle all your case proceedings on your behalf while you focus on your medical needs. In addition, you will be able to rely on your legal team for ongoing support and advice as your case unfolds.

Beyond handling the procedural requirements of your case, your legal team can also vastly improve the quality of the final results you reach. For example, many people who hire attorneys to help them recover from personal injuries and workplace accidents are surprised to discover they can claim much more compensation than they initially anticipated. A good attorney will know how to uncover every channel of compensation available to their client and maximize their recovery.

The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray believe in addressing each client’s unique needs with individualized legal counsel. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to every claim for damages filed in the state, and a good attorney must be willing to adapt their strategies to meet the unique challenges and opportunities a case presents to their client. Our goal is to help our clients make informed decisions, approach each phase of their proceedings with confidence, and maximize the compensation they obtain.

FAQs About Lawyer Vs Attorney

Is There a Difference Between a Lawyer and an Attorney?

Technically, yes. A lawyer is someone who has completed their law degree, and some lawyers have passed their bar exams. An attorney is a lawyer who has completed their law degree and passed the bar exam necessary to practice law in their state. All attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are attorneys. Make sure the legal representative you’ve chosen to handle your case is licensed to practice law in your state and has solid professional experience handling cases similar to yours.

Should I Hire an Attorney or Lawyer?

Today, the terms “attorney” and “lawyer” are generally used interchangeably. However, there is a technical difference in that only an attorney is licensed to practice law and represent others in court. Therefore, if you need to hire legal counsel to represent you, then you must hire an attorney. Always verify a prospective legal representative’s professional background and credentials to ensure they are properly licensed to practice law in your area and represent you.

How Do I Find the Right Attorney?

A few of the most important factors to assess when choosing legal representation include experience, availability, and responsiveness. First, ensure the legal professional you have chosen is a licensed attorney in your state and has adequate experience handling cases like yours. Next, make sure they are available to give your case the attention it requires. A good attorney maintains a balanced caseload to ensure each client receives as much of their attention as possible, and they should provide the client with multiple options for getting in touch with them for updates throughout their case.

How Much Does an Attorney Make?

Attorneys can specialize in various types of law, and the type of law they practice generally informs their billing policy. Attorneys who handle criminal defense, corporate legal representation, and intellectual property generally use an hourly billing format for their clients, charging an hourly rate for time spent working on each client’s case. On the other hand, personal injury attorneys know that most of their clients are ordinary people who do not have thousands of dollars they can easily spend on attorney’s fees. Therefore, these attorneys typically use contingency fee agreements and take percentages of their clients’ case awards as their legal fees.

Do I Really Need to Hire an Attorney for My Case?

If you intend to file any kind of civil claim for damages, pursue workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury, file a claim under the Jones Act for a work injury offshore, or if you face any other civil dispute against another party, the right attorney can significantly improve the final results you reach. Even after addressing their legal fee, an experienced attorney can significantly increase the value of the final recovery you obtain.

The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray have years of experience representing clients in the Houston area who have suffered injuries at work while working offshore and due to the negligence and misconduct of others in various situations. If you believe any other party is responsible for injuries and damages you or a loved one recently suffered, it’s vital to secure legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible for the best chance of recovering. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to find out how our experienced team of attorneys can help you recover.

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