What Is a Lawyer?
A lawyer is a person who has earned a law degree either from an undergraduate law school or Juris Doctor (JD) program. The individual is knowledgeable in the law, however, isn’t licensed to practice law within the United States or in any other state. An attorney is a person who has been formally admitted to the practice of law and is licensed to practice law within one or more states. Some states have their own bar associations, such as the American Bar Association, or similar organizations, such as the National Federation of Law Associations. Other states retain the function of the state bar and the state has authority over its own lawyers.
An attorney may also be called upon by a party who wants to engage in a common law tort suit. For example, if a doctor accused of malpractice is injured due to another doctor’s negligence, the doctor can use the third-party for damages. In a typical case, the doctor will file a complaint against the third-party under a common law rule. The complaint is primarily based on negligence, but can also claim damages for breach of fiduciary duty, professional misconduct, and intentional misconduct. If the defendant doesn’t deny the allegations within a reasonable amount of time, or if the claim is found to be true, the plaintiff may then proceed to bring a civil action against the defendant.
Attorneys are commonly admitted to the practice law of a jurisdiction through the Bar Examination process, which is conducted by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Law Society of Western Australia. Both of these bodies require that lawyers pass a standard Bar Examination, which includes a written test, an oral exam, and a comprehensive written application. Candidates wishing to become admitted must first achieve a law degree from an approved law university or college.