a lawyer in Britain who has the right to argue cases in the higher courts of law More Aboutlawyers Lawyer is a general term for a person who is qualified to advise people about the law, to prepare legal documents for them and/or to represent them in a court of law. In England and Wales, a lawyer who is qualified to speak in the higher courts of law is called a barrister. In Scotland a barrister is called an advocate. In North American English attorney is a more formal word used for a lawyer and is used especially in job titles:district attorney. Counsel is the formal legal word used for a lawyer who is representing someone in court:counsel for the prosecution. Solicitor is the British English term for a lawyer who gives legal advice and prepares documents, for example when you are buying a house, and sometimes has the right to speak in a court of law. In North American English solicitor is only used in the titles of some lawyers who work for the government:Solicitor General. See related entries: Professions, People in law Word Origin late Middle English: from the noun bar, perhaps on the pattern of minister.Extra examples the barrister for the ferry company Mortimer is still a practising barrister. The barrister for the defendant picked up on this inconsistency. The solicitor must instruct a barrister to appear before the court.