An advocate's role is to give advice on all matters of law: it may involve representing a client in the civil and criminal courts or advising a client on matters such as matrimonial and family law, trusts and estates, regulatory matters, property transactions and commercial and business law. In court, advocates wear a horsehair wig, stiff collar, bands and a gown in the same way as barristers do elsewhere.
In practice, legal jurisdictions exercise their right to determine who is recognized as being a lawyer. As a result, the meaning of the term "lawyer" may vary from place to place. Some jurisdictions have two types of lawyers, barrister and solicitors, whilst others fuse the two. A barrister is a lawyer who specializes in higher court appearances. A solicitor is a lawyer who is trained to prepare cases and give advice on legal subjects and can represent people in lower courts. Both barristers and solicitors have gone through law school, completed the requisite practical training.