In common parlayance, a lawyer is an individual who is permitted to engage in the practice of law, basically, to give legal advice to clients and to represent them in a court. Depending on the jurisdiction, they may have different titles and abilities to practice.
The United KingdomEdit
Despite legal reforms, lawyers belong to one of two different regulated professions, barristers and solicitors. Although this is changing quickly, Solicitors may be hired directly by clients, but may not appear in court, where Barristers may appear in court, but may only be hired by Solicitors.
The United StatesEdit
In the United States, the preferred title is "attorney". As a rule, attorneys may enage in any type of law. They are regulated on the state level, but there are also special rules for lawyers wishing to appear in bankruptcy courts and the Supreme Court of the United States, which are run by the federal government.
Canada (Common Law)Edit
In most Canadian provinces, lawyers are "Barristers & Solictors", although there is no functional distinction between the two. In early Canada, there were too few lawyers to make the distinction.