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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. It is now confirmed by the courts the term also applies to a solicitor advocate. Some judges and lawyers apply the term interchangeably between both barristers and solicitor advocates.

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 counselor, or more fully, counselor-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]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counsel — Please support Wikipedia.
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3377322 news items

CBS News

CBS News
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:07:30 -0700

In May, the House went so far as to pass a resolution calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint special counsel to investigate the misconduct. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will press the matter further, hearing from legal ...
Mondaq News Alerts (registration)
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:56:15 -0700

Stephanie Resnick's article, "Redefining the Role of the Outside Counsel Litigator," was published on InsideCounsel.com. General counsel should look for four important qualities in their outside counsel: The first is being an outstanding and ethical ...


Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:54:48 -0700

Indeed, the House bill takes the very opposite approach toward ensuring the children legal representation. The bill reads that “the alien shall be given the privilege of being represented, at no expense to the Government, by counsel of the alien's ...

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The Star-Ledger
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:13:10 -0700

Diamond previously served as vice president, general counsel and secretary for Thales USA, which is part of multinational company involved with providing electrical systems for aerospace and transportation markets. Before joining Thales, Diamond worked ...
The Sun
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 03:30:00 -0700

BILLERICA -- Billerica will have to wait another two weeks before selectmen decide which law firm will represent the town. After a meeting Monday night dedicated to interviewing two top candidates for town legal counsel, the board wants more time to ...
Business First of Buffalo (blog)
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:00:00 -0700

Among the plethora of private colleges in Western New York, Niagara University has in-house counsel while State University of New York schools such as the University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State, Fredonia, Brockport and Geneseo work with general ...
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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:27:17 -0700

A top in-house attorney at New York-based Citigroup Inc. has made a reverse commute back to the law firm. Elizabeth Sacksteder, most recently the deputy general counsel and global head of litigation and regulatory investigations at the financial ...
JD Supra (press release)
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:11:15 -0700

Gavel Trial and appellate counsel may differ for a variety of reasons, not all of which reflect poorly on one or the other. On occasion, however, trial counsel may have acted so unprofessionally or ignorantly as to be the target of strong remarks by ...

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