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  • An attorney at law in the United States is a practitioner in a court of law who is legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. Alternative terms include counselor and lawyer. As of April 2011, there were 1,225,452 licensed attorneys in the United States. The United States legal system does not draw a distinction between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not, unlike many other common law jurisdictions, and civil law jurisdictions. An additional factor which differentiates the American legal system from other countries is that there is no delegation of routine work to notaries public. Attorneys may be addressed by the post-nominal letters Esq., the abbreviated form of the word Esquire.

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