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Is a Litigator the Same as a Lawyer?


Is a Litigator the Same as a Lawyer?

It’s easy to identify the person representing a client in a courtroom as a lawyer and think that’s the end of the matter. In fact, a litigator is a lawyer but essentially exists in a subsection of different types of lawyers. “Lawyer” is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of legal services and specialties. A litigator is a specific specialty.

What Is a Lawyer?

A lawyer is someone who has completed specialized legal education and earned a license to practice law for the public. Once practicing law, a lawyer can handle many different legal matters. They can represent plaintiffs or defendants in court, provide an array of legal advice, draft necessary legal documents, and in general, help their clients understand their legal rights as well as their legal obligations.

What Is a Litigator?

A litigator is a lawyer practicing in a specialty area focused on courtrooms and lawsuits. Those lawsuits can be civil or criminal, and the litigator will represent either the plaintiff or defendant in arguing their case. While litigators do frequently appear in court, they can also manage lawsuits in other ways, including mediation, arbitration, or settlement negotiations. Regardless, they provide legal advice to their clients and spend time preparing arguments on behalf of the client.

What Are the Differences Between a Lawyer and a Litigator?

The major difference between a lawyer and a litigator is in categorization. All licensed attorneys practicing law are considered lawyers. Within the broad field of lawyers, litigators are a specialty category, focused entirely on lawsuits and issues that could ultimately result in a courtroom trial.

In other words, all litigators are lawyers, but not all lawyers are litigators. Which one you hire depends on your legal needs. If a lawsuit is possible or a legal issue could end up in mediation or arbitration, if not in a courtroom, then a litigator is the type of lawyer you’d need. For other types of legal matters, seek out lawyers who work with those specific matters.

Let Us Advise You

Whether you need a litigator or other type of legal counsel, our legal team is here to help. Call us at 317-663-9190 to make an appointment to meet with one of our experienced attorneys.