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Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

Surprising Facts About The Attorneys You Might Not Realize

Who is an Attorney?

The word attorney is a household name often used interchangeably with the word lawyer. Many people would say that all attorneys are lawyers, but the converse is not true. An attorney is a person who has graduated from law school and can choose to perform law as a practice. All attorneys are subjected to a special exam, the bar exam, which they must pass to earn the status of an attorney. The bar exam is usually tailored towards a specific jurisdiction, the practical authority to practice law within defined areas.

A lawyer, on the other hand, is a person who has gone through law school and is well educated in the law. The law education in itself qualifies them to be addressed as lawyers even if they may not be able to give specific legal advice to people. Their practice of law is limited until when they pass the bar exam in their area of preference. It is only then that they earn the title of an attorney.

photo/ jessica45

An attorney, therefore, is a person whose practice of law extends over a broad scope. They could be advocates, barristers, counsels or solicitors among other legal professions. They provide reliable legal advice to their clients. They practically apply the law to solve problems or represent plaintiffs or defendants in court. Here are several surprising facts about attorneys that you should know.

Interesting Attorney Facts

 

  • The earliest attorneys were orators.

 

They were picked from people with excellent communication skills. They were usually eloquent people chosen to speak on behalf of the defendant. Otherwise, in ancient Greece, defendants were personally responsible in putting up their defense.

 

  • The legal profession was first recognized in Ancient Rome.

 

As the Roman Empire grew in complexity, the legal code grew along with it. As a result, the legal profession became officially accepted and recognized. By the 4th century, the government was regulating attorneys.

 

  • Abogado, the Spanish term for a lawyer, originates from the Latin word advocatus.

 

It literally means, “to call forward.” It formed the basis of the English word advocate, which describes the person who pleads the cause of individual before a tribunal or judicial court.

 

  • Practicing law is all about arguments.

 

Presenting a good argument is what wins cases. If you perfect this art, you may put up a
stellar argument on something that you don’t believe in for the sake of your client. In the end, you might even convince yourself otherwise.

 

  • Most modern lawyers have a limited area of concentration or jurisdiction.

 

The current legal code is quite comprehensive and trying to practice a variety of legal
areas spreads one too thin. It is now common for attorneys to limit their practice to specific areas of law, like estate planning, bankruptcy or personal injury. Pyke and Associates, for instance, concentrates on estate planning and elder law.

 

  • Winning can be everything.

 

As you get much deeper into lawsuits, you start to believe in your client’s cause and that
they deserve a win, or rather, you are going to win. Losing a lawsuit is usually a result of being attacked on your areas of vulnerability. It, therefore, takes identifying the other side’s weak
points and using them to win a lawsuit.

 

  • Attorneys are officers of the court.

 

It means that they must be sworn in to practice law. Swearing in binds them to an inclusive body of ethical commitments and responsibilities. For instance, attorney-client privilege must be protected, and they should avoid conflict of interest during practice.

 

  • It is actually not unethical for lawyers to sleep with their clients!

 

Unlike in other professions, the medical field especially, lawyers can actually freely have relations with their clients.

 

  • Studying law before is mainly self-study or apprenticeship.

 

Before the current law school training system, learning law was primarily a self-study or an apprenticeship affair. The large classes, reading cases and Socratic method of training were not the norm by then. All one had to do was to attach themselves to an experienced attorney and learn.

The word attorney can mean different things in different places, but the idea that cuts across the board is the fact that they represent and advocate for legal issues of their clients. As a profession, it is not short of interesting facts, and the few mentioned above are a good starting point for learning more.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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