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What Is The Difference Between Lawyer and Attorney

Posted in Personal Injury on July 2, 2021

Historically, there was a difference between the terms attorney and lawyer, but that difference is no longer applicable. The terms “lawyer” and “attorney” are interchangeable in New York. Today, both terms are used to refer to a professional who is authorized to practice law.

However, the term lawyer once referred to a person who had legal training and education but had not been admitted to practice law. The term attorney was used to refer to someone who had training and education AND was admitted to the bar of a legal jurisdiction.

How Do I Know if an Attorney is Licensed to Practice Law in New York?

Individuals who wish to practice law in New York must meet all of the requirements for the Rules of Admission. Generally, an attorney must have a law degree, pass the state bar examination, and meet the other requirements for being a licensed attorney in New York.

However, there are exceptions. An attorney may file a Motion for Admission Without Examination. The attorney must have a law degree from an ABA-approved law school, be admitted to practice in at least one reciprocal U.S. jurisdiction, and have practiced for at least five of the past seven years.

Attorneys who wish to continue practicing law in New York must renew their law license every two years. They must also participate in mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) courses.

You may search an attorney by name to determine if that attorney is registered through the New York State Unified Court System.

The attorney detail report provides the following information:

  • Attorney registration number
  • Name
  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Business telephone number
  • Email
  • Date admitted to the New York Bar
  • Appellate Division Department of Admission
  • Law school attended
  • Registration status
  • Next registration date

The information is provided by the attorney listed in the report, except for the registration status. The registration status tells you whether the attorney is authorized to practice law in New York. The report also states whether there is a record of public disciplinary actions.

What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do For Clients?

Personal injury law covers a wide variety of cases involving negligence, intentional acts, and other wrongdoing that results in injury to another person.

Situations that might result in a personal injury claim include, but are not limited to:

A personal injury lawyer investigates the cause of your injury to determine how the injury occurred and who is responsible for causing the injury. You must prove fault before you can recover compensation for your damages and injuries.

When searching for a personal injury attorney in New York City, look for an attorney who has experience handling personal injury cases similar to your case. In addition, you want to hire a law firm that has sufficient staff and resources to handle your claim.

Also, ask the attorney about their trial experience. A personal injury attorney should not shy away from taking a case to court. Therefore, it is to your benefit to hire a lawyer who is a talented and aggressive negotiator and a skilled and experienced trial attorney.

What Damages Are Available For a Personal Injury Case?

Your lawyer works with you and your physicians to document your damages. Damages may include economic damages, such as loss of income, medical bills, and personal care costs.

Damages also include non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent impairments, and a decrease in your quality of life. Several factors impact how much your personal injury claim is worth. Your lawyer works diligently to maximize the factors in your favor.

Some factors that could increase the value of your personal injury claim:

  • Seeking prompt medical treatment for injuries
  • Consulting with a lawyer before talking to the insurance company
  • Sustaining a permanent impairment or disability
  • Having a lengthy recovery period in which you are out of work
  • The need for personal care or help with household chores
  • The availability of sufficient insurance coverage for your claim

The insurance company will try to pay as little as possible to close your claim. It may pressure you to settle your claim before you complete medical treatment or contact a lawyer. That is not in your best interest.

Make sure that you obtain legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer before you decide how to proceed with your injury claim. You could lose a substantial amount of money by following the advice of an insurance claims adjuster.

To learn more, call one of our convenient locations nearest you for assistance.

New York City law office at (212) 564-2800,
Brooklyn law office at (718) 802-1600.

If you would prefer to email us, please visit our contact us page.