If you’re looking for legal help, you might come across the terms “lawyer” and “attorney” frequently. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they hold their own distinct meanings. 

This blog post delves into the differences between lawyers and attorneys, shedding light on their roles and responsibilities when seeking legal representation. 

Lawyer vs. Attorney: Defining the Terms

Let’s start by breaking down the definitions of these two terms.

Lawyer: Earning a Law Degree

A lawyer has earned a law degree or Juris Doctor (JD) from a recognized law school. This education gives them a strong grasp of the law, its rules, and how it works. Yet, it’s important to know that a lawyer needs a license to practice law.

Attorney: Authorized to Practice Law

An attorney is a person who not only has a law degree but also has been given legal permission to practice law in one or more states. To achieve this, an attorney must have passed the required bar examination in the state where they want to work. 

They can also become an attorney through other ways, like state agreements that allow them to practice. Attorneys are fit to give legal advice and represent clients in court, which makes them the professionals to turn to for most legal matters.

Navigating Licensing Requirements for Missouri Attorneys

When hiring an attorney in Missouri, it’s vital to understand the licensing requirements to practice law here. This process involves a few steps to ensure they’re qualified and trustworthy to help you with legal matters.

One key step for an attorney in Missouri is passing the bar examination. This test covers different areas of the law, such as civil procedure, constitutional law, and contracts. It’s a way to check if they have the right knowledge to be a good lawyer.

Missouri also wants to be sure that the attorneys they license are responsible and have good character. This means they check if the attorney is honest and reliable, so you can trust them to handle your legal needs.

To even have a chance to take the bar examination, the attorney must have finished law school at a place approved by the American Bar Association. This ensures they have a solid education to help you with legal problems.

But here’s something interesting: if an attorney is already licensed in another state, they might not have to take the bar examination in Missouri. This can happen if Missouri has a special agreement with the other state. This makes it easier for experienced lawyers to work in different jurisdictions.

So, when you’re searching for an attorney to hire in Missouri, it’s good to know the steps they’ve gone through to become licensed here. Passing the bar exam, being trustworthy, and having the right education are some important things that show they’re ready to assist you with legal matters.

Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Specific Case

The process can be critical and challenging when selecting an attorney for your specific case. Different legal issues require specialized knowledge, so it’s essential to find an attorney who is experienced in handling cases similar to yours.

For instance, if you’re dealing with a workers’ compensation claim resulting from an on-the-job injury, seeking an attorney with a workers’ compensation law background is imperative. 

Similarly, collaborating with an attorney well-versed in that area can enhance your chances of a favorable outcome if your situation involves a commercial truck accident.

The Initial Consultation

During initial consultations, you can ask pertinent questions to gauge an attorney’s suitability for your case:

  • What’s your experience in handling cases similar to mine?
  • Can you share your success rate in resolving issues like mine?
  • Do you prefer settling claims out of court or taking them to trial?
  • Who will be primarily handling my case—yourself or someone else from your team?
  • Do you work on a contingency fee basis, and are there additional costs beyond attorney’s fees?
  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • What resources does your law firm have to support my case?

To make an informed decision, take advantage of many personal injury attorneys’ free initial consultations. 

Picking the right attorney might mean talking to different professionals until you find someone matching your needs and expectations. It’s really important to feel good about the attorney you choose because they’ll have a big part in guiding you through the legal process.

Remember that researching and asking the right questions can help you find the best attorney for your legal worries. If you need legal help, don’t wait to contact an attorney committed to helping you get a good outcome.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in St. Louis, MO

If you’ve been injured, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

St. Louis, MO Law Office
1430 Washington Ave Ste 225, St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 444-4444

Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124

Columbia, MO Law Office
28 N 8th St # 502, Columbia, MO 65201

Creve Coeur, MO Law Office 
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141