What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?

An attorney is a lawyer, but a lawyer may not necessarily be an attorney. On television, in advertisements, and from our friends, we often hear reference to "lawyers" and "attorneys." Despite the ease of categorizing these two words as synonyms, they do in fact mean different things. The difference is only slight, but it matters a great deal to state bar associations, particularly in the investigation and prosecution of unauthorized practice of lawcases. However, practically speaking, the terms have become interchangeable in the United States.