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Language tip of the week: lawyer

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, usage, etc.

This week’s language tip helps with the differences in usage in American and British English of the word lawyer:



In both the UK and the US, lawyer is the general word for a trained legal adviser.

In the UK, a lawyer who usually works in an office but may also work in some courts of law is called a solicitor.

Lawyers who do most of their work representing people in court trials are called barristers in England and Wales, and advocates in Scotland.

In both the UK and the US, counsel is the formal legal word for a lawyer who is representing people in court, and in a US court you might call them counselor.

A lawyer in the US is also sometimes referred to as an attorney, especially in formal speech or official letters.

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Liz Potter

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