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Not to be confused with Council.

A counsel or a counselor gives advice, particularly in legal matters. It is a title often used interchangeably with the title of lawyer.

U.K. and Ireland[edit]

The legal system in England uses the term counsel as an approximate synonym for a barrister-at-law, and may apply it to mean either a single person who pleads a cause, or collectively, the body of barristers engaged in a case.

The difference between "Barrister" and "Counsel" is subtle. "Barrister" is a professional title awarded by one of the four Inns of Court, and is used in a barrister's private, academic or professional capacity. "Counsel" is used to refer to a barrister who is instructed on a particular case. It is customary to use the third person when addressing a barrister instructed on a case: "Counsel is asked to advise" rather than "You are asked to advise".

The legal term counsellor, or more fully, counsellor-at-law, became practically obsolete in England, but continued in use locally in Ireland[citation needed] as an equivalent to barrister, where a Senior Counsel (S.C.) is equivalent to the English Queen's Counsel (Q.C.)

North America[edit]

In the United States of America, the term counselor-at-law designates, specifically, an attorney admitted to practice in all courts of law; but as the United States legal system makes no formal division of the legal profession into two classes, as in the United Kingdom, most US citizens use the term loosely in the same sense as lawyer, meaning one who is versed in (or practicing) law.

In the United States and Canada, many large and midsize law firms have lawyers with the job title of "counsel", "special counsel" or "of counsel". These lawyers are employees of the firm like associates, although some firms have an independent contractor relationship with them. But unlike associates, and more like partners, they generally have their own clients, manage their own files, and supervise associates. (For more information, see the Law firm article.)

See also[edit]

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Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:17:21 -0700

Addressing the defence counsel, whose name is Alan Blacker, he said: “If you ever appear before this court dressed as you are at the moment, I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you.” He added: “I did not raise any of these matters before this ...
Washington Post
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:48:45 -0700

For all that Good Counsel had lost entering this season, including its four-year hold on the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference crown and two nationally-ranked recruits, the Falcons seemed to relish the idea of being outside the spotlight during ...
Times of India
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 08:22:30 -0700

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court-cum-executive chairman with the collaboration of State Legal Services Authority of Chandigarh administration organised an orientation program for Legal Aid Counsel and Mediators at Chandigarh Judicial ...
New Haven Register
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:11:15 -0700

10 meeting with the company, the attorney general's office and representatives of the consumer counsel to discuss the necessary changes. The idea behind the meeting, according to a notice submitted to all of the parties by PURA's Acting Executive ...

New York Law Journal (registration)

New York Law Journal (registration)
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:33:45 -0700

The attorney who served as liaison counsel for plaintiffs who suffered bodily injuries in the World Trade Center response and cleanup will get a second chance to secure legal fees following an appeals court ruling Tuesday. Marion Mishkin was denied ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:11:15 -0700

HULL – Town of Hull leaders met in closed session Thursday afternoon with legal counsel and a hydrologist regarding Stevens Point's Well No. 11. Since Stevens Point installed the well, several households in the town of Hull have reportedly spent ...
Youngstown Vindicator
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:42:41 -0700

City Law Director Martin Hume is refusing a request from two councilwomen to prepare legislation allowing council to have up to $40,000 for outside legal counsel. Councilwomen Annie Gillam, D-1st, and Janet Tarpley, D-6th, didn't disclose the reasons ...
Huffington Post
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:33:45 -0700

This is the story of the Rev. Emily Freeman Penfield, a senior pastor at a United Methodist church in Birmingham, Alabama. I began having anxiety attacks at the end of college and they seemed to center around leaving college, going to seminary, leaving ...

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