Attorney ? (Everything you need to know !)

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The authorized occupation is full of jargon and different formal terminology. The skilled titles held by these within the authorized occupation are likewise complicated. The place does one begin making sense of the variations between ‘attorneys’, ‘attorneys’, ‘authorized directors’, and ‘paralegals’, for instance?

That can assist you determine it out, we ask:



The time period ‘lawyer’ is typically used to consult with a broad spectrum of authorized professionals. Typically talking, although, a lawyer is anybody who has been skilled in regulation. Anybody who has attended regulation faculty, and attained an LLB (Bachelor of Legal guidelines) diploma, is a lawyer.

What this implies is that if you’re solely a lawyer, with none extra {qualifications} or skilled designations, you can’t signify a shopper in a court docket of regulation. What your authorized coaching does qualify you for is performing as a authorized marketing consultant or coverage advisor, or giving authorized recommendation.


To change into an legal professional, you first want to finish your theoretical authorized coaching (i.e. your LLB diploma). You may then do your articles (a type of internship) with a practising legal professional for a particular time frame. When you end your articles, it is advisable to write a Board Examination. In the event you cross, you’ll be able to apply to the Excessive Courtroom to be admitted as an legal professional.

An legal professional can specialise as a conveyancer, patent legal professional, litigator, and extra. They’ll, in sure circumstances, signify shoppers in a court docket of regulation. Whereas all attorneys could be known as attorneys, all attorneys should not essentially attorneys.


An advocate is a specialist lawyer who represents shoppers in a court docket of regulation. In contrast to an legal professional, an advocate doesn’t deal straight with the shopper – the legal professional refers the shopper to an advocate when the state of affairs requires it. Whereas attorneys can solely signify shoppers within the decrease courts in South Africa, advocates can seem on behalf of shoppers within the larger courts as effectively.

To change into an advocate, one has to change into a member of the Basic Council of the Bar.


A paralegal works in a authorized workplace, and is mostly liable for performing sure authorized work on behalf of a lawyer or legal professional. Paralegals, basically, are authorized assistants.

A paralegal can do work reminiscent of:

  • Interviewing shoppers
  • Conducting analysis
  • Drafting authorized paperwork
  • Submitting authorized paperwork


Authorized directors are a part of the authorized workplace setting, and are liable for the administrative duties within the workplace.

Authorized directors should not the identical as abnormal workplace directorsTurning into a authorized administrator takes particular coachingbecause the position requires working information of authorized practices, processes, and terminology. Among the features of a authorized administrator may embrace:

  • Submitting
  • Typing authorized paperwork
  • Liaising with shoppers relating to administrative points
  • Ordering workplace provides
  • Taking minutes
  • Managing the attorneys’ schedules


As neatly because the completely different roles are set out right here, in actuality it may change into considerably complicated. That is largely resulting from the truth that the variations are sometimes technical, {and professional} duties can overlap in apply. A paralegal, for instance, could be required to carry out the duties of a authorized administrator as effectively.

One other supply of confusion is that in completely different international locations there should not solely completely different guidelines for coming into the completely different professions, but additionally completely different titles. For instance: An legal professional is known as a solicitor in sure international locations, whereas an advocate is known as a barrister. A authorized administrator is typically referred to as a authorized secretary, and a paralegal is typically known as a regulation clerk.


Not everybody who desires to change into an legal professional or advocate can afford to go to regulation faculty and put their lives on maintain for 4 (or extra) years. There’s one other manner to do that, nonetheless.

It’s attainable for a authorized administrator to review an LLB diploma part-time – which supplies her or him the additional advantage of gaining sensible work expertise whereas she or he remains to be busy finding out.

Additionally it is attainable for an legal professional to resolve to change into an advocate, and to hunt admission to the Bar after having labored as an legal professional for a while.

What this implies is that in case your dream is to change into an legal professional or advocate someday, however you’ll be able to’t go to school immediately, you’ll be able to nonetheless maintain your dream alive by turning into a authorized administrator and taking it from there.

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