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One engaged in the Practice of Law; lawyer; advocate.

The term counsellor is commonly used interchangeably with attorney, except in a few states where the terms refer to lawyers of different ranks. In such states, an attorney may become a counsellor only after practicing law for a certain designated period of time and passing an additional examination.

Formerly, the Supreme Court of the United States made a distinction between a counsellor and an attorney. A counsellor was a lawyer who litigated on a party's behalf whereas an attorney at law did not do any trial work. This distinction is no longer made by the Court.


n. a licensed attorney. See counsel for all the variations.

COUNSELLOR, government. A counsellor is a member of a council. In some of the states the executive power is vested in a governor, or a governor and lieutenant governor, and council. The members of such council are called counsellors. See the names of the several states.

References in classic literature ?
After he had consigned to their fate the wretched policemen -- ill-fated and unwilling witnesses of a State-secret which they were not to be permitted to reveal -- he again addressed the Counsellors.
He was angry with her, and coming to the host of the Trojans he roused Hippocoon, a counsellor of the Thracians and a noble kinsman of Rhesus.
But then it must be a prudent king, such as is able to grind with a handmill; and those inward counsellors had need also be wise men, and especially true and trusty to the king's ends; as it was with King Henry the Seventh of England, who, in his great business, imparted himself to none, except it were to Morton and Fox.
A counsellor having remarked that the gentlemen were fatigued, and that it would be a long time to wait until the torture was at an end, the president replied that a magistrate must know how to sacrifice himself to his duty.
Down this, amid the shouts of the enormous multitude, the prince cantered with his two attendant kings, his high officers of state, and his long train of lords and ladies, courtiers, counsellors, and soldiers, with toss of plume and flash of jewel, sheen of silk and glint of gold--as rich and gallant a show as heart could wish.
Of all the party which had started upon this adventure, the little Kansas girl was now left alone with the Scarecrow, Tiktok, and the private for counsellors and companions.
But a further question arises: Is passion different from reason also, or only a kind of reason; in which latter case, instead of three principles in the soul, there will only be two, the rational and the concupiscent; or rather, as the State was composed of three classes, traders, auxiliaries, counsellors, so may there not be in the individual soul a third element which is passion or spirit, and when not corrupted by bad education is the natural auxiliary of reason
I thought it hard, I own, that there should be so many of them; my lord, and the court, and the jury, and the counsellors, and the witnesses, all upon one poor man, and he too in chains.