Mean the same thing.  Lawyer is more of a USA phase that is becoming more commonly used in Australia.  

Sometimes the term lawyer is used to also include a barrister and a solicitor.

A solicitor does most of the work in a family law case, and sometimes calls on a barrister for assistance if needed.


A Barrister and Solicitor have the same University qualifications. They are both lawyers. There is an overlap in what they each do.

The difference is the type of legal work they chose to do. Barristers normally specialise in advocacy or Court work. This means they are usually (but not always) the one who stands in front of a judge to present the client's case. But in family law, because not many cases are decided by a judge, most of the work is done by the solicitor.

Barristers normally also specialise in a limited area of law, but so do some solicitors (like Gordon Lawyers). Barristers do not deal directly with clients. 

Some solicitors call themselves, Solicitors and Barristers.  That's allowed in NSW.  It might indicate that they do allot of in court work.  But a true barrister is admitted to the Bar and cannot be a solicitor and visa versa. 

How do solicitors and barristers work together - Solicitors are responsible for and have the management of a client's case. Occasionally solicitors, with the client's consent, call on a barrister to assist with Court work, settle (finalise) a particular document or give a second opinion where it may be needed.  A solicitor and the right barrister working together can make a formidable team.