Difference between a Litigator and a Lawyer | Best Comparison Guide


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The legal profession is one of the most well-known and oldest ones worldwide. But despite tradition, it is more varied than most people think it. There are various responsibilities and roles within the competitive market of law regarding services. Let’s find out the difference between a litigator and a lawyer.

Generally, a lawyer defines the image of an expert or professional in a smart and elegant suit working in the courtroom. On the other hand, the litigator is like an individual wearing black suit robes and a white wig. 

However, there are some noticeable differences between litigators and lawyers and their attire. So in this article, we will discuss these differences in detail.

What is a Lawyer?

Difference between a Litigator and a Lawyer

As mentioned above, most people believe that lawyers and litigators dressed in black suits debate with the clients passionately in court. The lawyers work and offer their services in various environments like law firms, corporations, and government institutions. Some lawyers don’t go to the courts for courtroom trials, as this is the last step in litigation.

Most lawyers specialize in the many particular areas of the law like contracts, family, estate, and corporate law. Lawyers can handle different cases like labour disputes, divorce, accidents, wills, estates, and many more. They also offer their valuable advice and represent their clients.

What is the role of a lawyer?

The lawyer’s role is to advise clients about all the aspects and issues related to and present the cases before court proceedings and hearings. Being a proficient and professional lawyer involves advising clients on civil and criminal law cases. Also, representing them in legal proceedings.

What is the litigator?

Difference between a Litigator and a Lawyer

Now, when we covered the lawyer’s role, let’s discover all about the litigator.

A litigator is an alternative word for the barrister, as a lawyer in the courtroom. In most countries, the term litigator is most commonly used instead of barrister or a lawyer. While lawyers work in different areas, including in the courtroom acts as a litigator, a litigator is only a lawyer in the courtroom

A litigator is a qualified and skilled legal expert or professional who gives special legal advice by representing, defending clients, and advocating in the tribunal and court. Like lawyers, the litigators can focus on one particular area of law, have more general knowledge about law-related material, and cover a wide range of areas. This means that litigators are the experts in family law but cannot handle criminal cases well.

What is the role of a litigator?

The litigation attorneys or trial lawyers are the ones who represent the defendants and plaintiffs in civil lawsuits. They are responsible for managing all the steps and phases of the litigation process, from pleadings, investigations, and discoveries to pre-trial settlements and appeal procedures. In short, the litigators take the disputes and cases to the court of law and solve them according to the rules and regulations.

Difference between a Lawyer and Litigator

Difference between a Litigator and a Lawyer

The difference between a legal lawyer and a litigator is very clear by examining their roles and duties.

  • A lawyer referred to a generic word representing the group of experts and professionals licensed and qualified to practice law. In contrast, the litigator is an individual who represents one type of lawyer.
  • Lawyers offer legal advice and help to the clients, debate their cases in front of the court of law, and define legal documents like contracts, wills, and deeds. Therefore, the function and role of the lawyer are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • The function and role of the lawyer are varied, and the duties and responsibilities of the lawyer can be broken into three essential activities. These activities include representing their clients in front of other parties, giving advice on legal issues, and offering legal solutions. 
  • The lawyers also perform legal research and organize legal documents like laws and regulations.
  • When it comes to providing legal advice, the lawyers cover the potential issues and solutions according to clients’ cases. They also advise the clients on the choices f their own choices and explain how to select the available options by explaining the legal issues to make the proper and accurate decision. 
  • The lawyer performs all the functions on behalf of the client because the common people are not fully aware of the current rules and regulations.  

Therefore, people need a specialized professional with adequate knowledge relevant to law. 

A lawyer cannot represent anyone without the authority to perform the specified function; therefore, the decision is in the client’s hands and according to his own opinion. 

  • A litigator is known as the trial lawyer or courtroom lawyer, as he focuses on representing their client in court. Therefore, the litigator makes the arguments and statements and represents these statements and arguments in front of the court. 
  • Though a litigator is a lawyer, he dedicates their time to appearing in the court of law. He settles legal disputes by giving valuable arguments in the place of their clients.
  • The lawyer works by examining what the law profession entails, and he gets the official license after completing law study. He gets the training as a lawyer and passes the well-known Bar exam.
  • The lawyers are also known as solicitors, barristers, and attorneys and can draft the documents like contractual agreements, pleadings, petitions, and written submissions.  
  • In contrast to lawyers, litigators are the type of those lawyers who spend their time contesting and arguing the disputes in courts like criminal and civil lawsuits.
  • The litigators also represent one of the parties before the court of law for legal action. They also appear for other hearings like judicial hearings and arbitration proceedings. 
  • A litigator acts as a courtroom lawyer, advocate, trial lawyer, and appointed counsel; litigation counsel represents the party, retained counsel, and litigation counsel.
  • While offering legal advice to the clients, the lawyer can demonstrate and explain the relevant facts and figures to the client according to the applicable law. They guide them on the best course of action and steps for further proceedings.
  • The function of the litigator is to handle the litigation procedures in the civil cases in front of the court. 

Remember to hire professionals

From the above differences, it is obvious that lawyers are qualified professionals to represent clients in front of other judicial tribunals and courts of law. Therefore, the lawyers are responsible for carrying out the institute’s legal actions and lawsuits on behalf of their clients. Moreover, the lawyer’s role may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as they defend or prosecute their client’s cause in a court of law. 

Therefore, the litigator falls under the category of lawyers. Still, their role, particularly in the specified area, is wholly and solely devoted to appearing in the court of law. Moreover, he settles legal disputes on behalf of their clients.  

The litigator is also liable to take legal action against any other person, group, or business to resolve the issues and disputes. 
The litigators represent their defendants or plaintiffs and practice in the courtrooms by spending their time there.  

Litigator VS lawyer

Common namebarristerattorney
Job descriptionManages investigations, pleadings, trials, and settlementsProtects the client’s rights
DutiesRepresent defendants and plaintiffsAdvice, research, and collects evidence, information, draft legal documents like contracts, deeds, wills, and real estate transactions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a trial lawyer and a litigator?

The difference between the trial lawyer and a litigator depends on the ultimate goals and objectives of the specific case or what they are aiming for. The litigators have time to settle, while trial attorneys or lawyers aim to go to court.

Litigation is not just another word referred to for the lawsuit. Litigation is a word used to explain the legal proceedings following the filing of a lawsuit between the two parties to defend or enforce a legal right through a court under the supervision of the court. 

Our lawyers are those who go to the court known as litigators?

In contrast to lawyers, the litigators are also called trial lawyers, who can handle the litigation process in the civil courts. The litigators are the plaintiffs’ representatives and defendants and spend their time in court arguing cases. The process of litigation includes appeals, settlements, and many more trials.

What type of lawyer is in most demand?

The types of lawyers that are mostly in demand are civil legislation lawyers, criminal defence lawyers, defamation lawyers, and business lawyers.

What is the best type of lawyer?

The best lawyers include intellectual property lawyers, patent attorney lawyers, trial attorneys, tax attorneys, corporate lawyers, employment lawyers, real estate attorneys, and divorce attorneys.


To conclude, based on the above differences between the litigator and the lawyer, one should clearly understand the functions and roles of both persons. The term lawyer is not uncommon for most people. Most of us can explain both without any difficulty indeed.

But on the other hand, the term litigator is unknown and not common to people. We link both the terms with each other in terms of disputes, trials, and consultations. 

The lawyer is a qualified professional and has the official license to practice the law, but the litigator is not a lawyer but falls in the sub-category of the lawyer.


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