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Only a lawyer can give legal advice

What is the difference between a lawyer, an attorney and a law clerk? Do you know? Don’t be discouraged, even students applying to law school often don’t know.

3 minutes of reading

The world of law is very broad and includes law firms or legal advice centers (including free ones) on the one hand, and courts or various authorities on the other. In all cases, they are all students of the same discipline – law school graduates. This is why it is paradoxical that law school is a “sure bet” for many applicants aiming for higher education– a gateway to an attractive and guaranteed career. Often, they are unaware of what a law graduate actually becomes and what kind of career they can achieve through their diligence. This is due to the fact that people often confuse the terms “lawyer”, “attorney” or “doctor of law”. These are very different categories.

A lawyer is a person who has obtained a law degree. We usually think of graduates of one of the four law schools in the country as graduates of law degrees, not graduates of private universities. To make things less complicated, a lawyer who has already obtained the academic degree of Master of Laws (M.A.) can therefore obtain the additional academic degree of Doctor of Laws (J.D.).

However, this is completely irrelevant to his or her qualifications and in no way reflects on the practical skills of the person concerned. Rather, it is a scientific discipline, a so-called small doctorate, which in other fields is usually a precursor to the so-called large doctorate (Ph.D.). This can be obtained by further study of at least three years.

The degree of JUDr. therefore has nothing to do with the exercise of legal professions (especially in the field of advocacy and legal consulting) and its award is not a necessary or essential prerequisite for such activities.

However, it is more important to distinguish the term “lawyer” from the terms “attorney” or “law clerk”.

  • A lawyer is one of the legal professions alongside, for example, a judge, a notary, or a corporate lawyer. And only a lawyer is allowed to provide legal services for a fee, i.e. to run a paid legal advice service (including online:)). A lawyer is therefore not free counsel, although of course he or she may also provide free legal advice from time to time. Every lawyer must be registered in the list of lawyers maintained by the Czech Bar Association (CBA).

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The provision of legal services means, in particular, the representation in proceedings before courts, administrative authorities and other bodies, defense in criminal cases, provision of legal advice, drafting of documents, and preparation of legal analyses. Here, lawyers act as legal representatives of the client. Finally, advocacy is a field of human activity in which lawyers are professionally engaged (i.e., business) and which is governed by the law and the advocacy profession as well as by the code of ethics of advocates.

  • A trainee advocate is then a “journeyman”, an apprentice whom a “master” advocate is supposed to initiate into his craft, which is verified by a bar examination after a mandatory three-year service. The regulation of the legal profession serves to ensure that the client can be sure of the professional erudition of his or her legal advisor from the law firm.

It is therefore advisable to always be aware of the difference between a lawyer and a solicitor and not be deceived by an uninsured, self-proclaimed legal “expert”. Of course, you will only find insured attorneys on our team, or under the guidance of another experienced attorney and his or her law clerks.

Therefore, if you need effective legal assistance, seek out an (affordable) attorney and do not rely on free legal advice.

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Our team of experienced attorneys will help you solve any legal issue. Within 24 hours we’ll evaluate your situation and suggest a step-by-step solution, including all costs. The price for this proposal is only CZK 690, and this is refunded to you when you order service from us.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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