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Attorney Advisor vs. Attorney: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Attorneys can specialize in many different areas of law, and their job titles often reflect their focus. Two common positions are that of an attorney advisor and an attorney. Both of these roles have similarities, but there are also several key differences between them. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between an attorney advisor and an attorney, and we provide additional legal professions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is an Attorney Advisor?

Attorney Advisors are lawyers who work for the government at the local, state or federal level. They provide legal advice to government officials and agencies on a variety of issues, such as environmental law, tax law or civil rights law. Attorney Advisors also represent the government in court, handling cases involving the government or its agencies. In addition to their legal work, Attorney Advisors may also be responsible for teaching and training other government lawyers, as well as law students.

What is an Attorney?

An attorney is a professional who provides legal representation and advice to clients in exchange for compensation. Attorneys can work in a variety of settings, including private law firms, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. They may specialize in a particular area of law, such as criminal law, family law, or real estate law. Attorneys typically have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school. They must also pass a state bar exam in order to be licensed to practice law.

Attorney Advisor vs. Attorney

Here are the main differences between an attorney advisor and an attorney.

Job Duties

Both attorneys and attorney advisors perform a variety of tasks to help their organizations and clients. The duties an attorney advisor performs may differ from an attorney’s duties because of the different types of work they do. An attorney advisors’ primary responsibility is to advise and assist attorneys in their firm by providing support with case research, preparation and filing. Attorneys may also manage administrative tasks like scheduling meetings, taking client payments and drafting correspondence.

Attorneys are often responsible for directly representing clients in court or other legal settings. They may meet with clients to discuss cases, research information about a case and draft documents that support a defense strategy. Attorney advisors may provide support to the attorneys they work with by researching information and helping to draft pleadings and motions.

Job Requirements

To become an attorney, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. After completing your undergraduate studies, you must then attend law school and earn a Juris Doctor degree. Once you have earned your law degree, you must pass the bar exam in the state where you wish to practice law. Some states also require attorneys to complete continuing legal education credits on a yearly basis in order to maintain their license to practice law.

Attorney advisors typically need to have a Juris Doctor degree as well, but they may not be required to pass the bar exam. In addition, many attorney advisors have experience working as attorneys before moving into advisor roles. Attorney advisors may also pursue certifications through professional organizations, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the American Bar Association (ABA). These certifications can demonstrate an attorney advisor’s knowledge and skills to potential employers.

Work Environment

Attorneys and attorney advisors work in different environments. Attorneys typically work in law firms, government agencies or private companies. They may travel to meet with clients and attend court hearings. Attorney advisors usually work in a corporate environment for large companies. They may also work in an office setting where they can collaborate with other employees.


There are several similarities in the skills used by attorneys and attorney advisors. Both groups need to be excellent communicators, both written and verbally, as they will be drafting documents and arguing cases. They also need to have strong research skills to be able to find relevant information to support their arguments. Both groups need to be analytical, as they will be reviewing data and making decisions based on that data.

There are also some differences in the skills used by these two groups. Attorneys need to be good at multitasking and managing their time, as they often have multiple cases they are working on at one time. Attorney advisors, on the other hand, may not need to be as good at multitasking, as they typically only work on one case at a time. Attorneys also need to be good at negotiating, as they often need to reach settlements with opposing counsel. Attorney advisors may not need to be as good at negotiating, as their job is primarily to provide advice and guidance to their clients.


The average salary for an attorney advisor is $103,659 per year, while the average salary for an attorney is $94,852 per year. The average salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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