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Last Modified: November 9, 2021


An advocate is “[s]omeone who supports or promotes the interests of another or pleads in another’s behalf.” While “advocate” has many possible formal and informal meanings across the English-language board, in the United States, it is simply a synonym for “lawyer.” The term, advocate carries the specific connotation of an intercessor representing the interests of someone who has been wronged—an abused child, an injured employee, etc.

Example Sentence

court-appointed special advocate communicates with children in a troubled environment and those who interact closely with them in order to provide educated recommendations regarding their welfare.

Case Study

Bud Frump is seeking compensation for a footprint J. Pierpont Finch left in his back, but quickly realizes that he is out of his element in a sea of paperwork and glib insurance adjusters.  Once he retains a legal advocate, he learns that much of what his insurance company was having him fill out was irrelevant busy work.  Frump’s advocate is able to negotiate more directly with Frump’s and Finch’s insurers to fast track the sought-for compensation.

Other Important Information

For many purposes, an advocate is a practical necessity. Most lay citizens are not legal experts who can effectively appeal to legal authorities on their own; the difficulty in mastering law is the reason why advocates can make a profession of what they do. Nowhere is legal counsel more vital than in a high-cost personal injury case: the standards for determining negligence are highly subjective and can only be argued skillfully by someone with an understanding of previous applications of words like “reasonable” and “due diligence.” Not every case requires retainment of an advocate. Luckily, a lawyer will neither take on a personal injury case that has no chance of success nor charge his client until something has been awarded to her. (Contrary to popular belief, frivolous lawsuits are a terrible way to make money.) The typical range of attorney fees is 30-40% of the final award.

Image “Scientology anti-SLAPP hearing 3 Feb 2014 039″ copyright by Michael.