The Difference Between a Lawyer and an Arbitrator

Difference between lawyer and arbitrator

Many people need to be aware of the difference between lawyers and arbitrators. They are professionals who provide services to their clients, but some key differences set them apart. Lawyers represent their clients in court, while arbitrators hear cases and make decisions outside of court. While lawyers and arbitrators must be licensed to practice in their state, arbitrators are not required to have a law degree. 

What Is A Lawyer?

A lawyer is a professional who has undergone extensive training in the legal system and is licensed to represent clients in courtrooms. Lawyers may specialize in a particular area of law, such as criminal law, family law, or business law. To become a lawyer, one must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and then attend law school for three years. After graduation from law school, lawyers must pass their state’s bar exam to be licensed to practice law. 

What Does A Lawyer Do? 

The primary role of lawyers is to represent their clients in courtrooms. Lawyers may also give legal advice to their clients outside of court. When representing their clients in court, lawyers will research the relevant laws, draft documents such as contracts or wills, file motions on behalf of their clients, and examine witnesses. Lawyers may also negotiate settlements on behalf of their clients with the other party in a dispute. 

What Is An Arbitrator? 

An arbitrator is a professional who hears cases and makes decisions outside of court. Arbitrators may be either attorneys or non-attorneys. While attorneys must be licensed to practice law in their state, non-attorneys are not required to have a law degree. To become an arbitrator, one must complete training on arbitration procedures and rules of evidence. Some states also require arbitrators to pass an exam. 

What Does An Arbitrator Do? 

The primary role of arbitrators is to hear cases and make decisions outside of court. Arbitrations are typically held before a panel of three arbitrators. During an arbitration hearing, both parties will present evidence and argue their case before the meeting of arbitrators. Once both parties have shown their case, the board of arbitrators will render a decision binding on both parties. 

How To Choose Between A Lawyer And An Arbitrator?

Several factors should be considered when deciding whether to choose a lawyer or an arbitrator for a dispute. The most crucial factor is the type of case that needs to be resolved. If the case involves complex legal issues such as contract disputes or class action lawsuits, then it is best to seek the advice of a lawyer.

On the other hand, if the case involves more straightforward issues such as property disputes or business transactions, then an arbitrator may be better suited to resolve the dispute. Additionally, it is vital to consider cost when making this decision. Generally speaking, arbitration tends to be less expensive than litigation and can help parties avoid lengthy court proceedings.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a lawyer or an arbitrator depends on the specific circumstances of each case and the parties involved. It is essential for both parties to thoroughly consider all their options before deciding which professional is best suited for resolving their dispute.

When Will A Lawyer And An Arbitrator Work Together?

In some cases, lawyers and arbitrators may need to work together. For example, if a dispute involves complex legal issues, an attorney may represent their client in the arbitration proceedings while an arbitrator hears the case and decides. In other cases, both parties may agree to have their respective lawyers settle the dispute in private negotiations with the help of an arbitrator.

In any case, lawyers and arbitrators can work together to resolve disputes quickly and fairly. It is essential for parties involved in a dispute to understand all their options before proceeding, so they can decide which professional is best suited for their situation.

No matter the dispute, lawyers, and arbitrators can play an essential role in helping parties resolve. By consulting with these professionals early on, parties can ensure that their conflict is handled quickly, efficiently, and fairly. With the help of both lawyers and arbitrators, parties can cost-effectively resolve their disputes.


So, what is the difference between a lawyer and an arbitrator? Lawyers represent their clients in courtrooms, while arbitrators hear cases and make decisions outside of court. While lawyers and arbitrators must be licensed to practice in their state, only lawyers must have a law degree. If you need legal assistance, you should contact a lawyer who can represent you or give you legal advice outside of court. If you need someone to hear your case and make a decision outside of court, you should contact an arbitrator who can do that.

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