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  • Writer's pictureAbby Nelson

Notary vs. Attorney

In a world where the legality of all acts of life has become an issue of penultimate importance, it has become increasingly important to reach out to professionals for guidance and save yourself from trouble down the line. In this regard, multiple kinds of legal personnel oversee different types of legal matters—knowing when to hire which professional to hire can often mean the difference between going bankrupt and saving a fortune.

Some of the legal personnel involved include paralegals, attorneys, and notaries, all of which have very different jobs which synergize to bring about legal equilibrium. Both attorneys and notaries handle matters of the law, but their field of expertise differs completely. Confusion on hiring a notary or an attorney is common, but there are significant differences in the services offered by the two. If you need help figuring out which professional can help you with your problem areas, keep reading!

Role of an attorney

An attorney is a legal professional who has earned a law degree and is licensed to practice law. An attorney is in the position of giving legal advice and representing clients in court—an attorney advocates for their client’s best interests and tailors legal advice to fit their unique circumstances. Attorneys can have expertise in a wide variety of fields, ranging from criminal law and corporate law to family law and real estate law. Additional duties of a lawyer can include interpreting state and federal laws, applying all of their knowledge to meet the needs of their clients, and keeping meticulous records of interactions with all clients and related entities.

Role of a notary

A notary is a trusted legal professional who serves the public by authenticating documents and ensuring their validity. Their line of work rests mainly on verifying the contents of a document guaranteeing the validity of the signer. In general, a notary engages in non-litigious legal work outside of court. A notary’s job description consists of various areas, including certification of original documents, acting as commissioner of oaths, authenticating wills and deeds, and aiding in real estate conveyancing.

Differences between attorneys and notaries

There are several significant differences between the job description of an attorney and the role of a notary. Here are a few main differences to help make your choice between the two a little easier.

  • Educational background and training

All attorneys are fully qualified to practice in their field with either a law degree, an apprenticeship, or a graduate diploma from a law school. On the other hand, there are several other steps in the training process to become a notary. In some instances, a higher degree of education might be needed, or you might need more extensive knowledge in certain areas. Professional training courses are also often required to become a qualified notary. Moreover, as a notary acts as a conduit of transparency and reliability, they also have to obtain a certificate of character and undergo annual background checks before practicing.

  • Area of expertise

Attorneys make up the vast majority of the legal profession. Attorneys are qualified to dispense various services, ranging from criminal law and corporate litigation to family law and property disputes. An attorney is equipped to deal with contentious issues and conflicts and can offer advice and representation for their client while abiding with the legal framework of the state where they reside.

On the other hand, a notary focuses on one specific area of the legal sector. A notary deals with the preparation and authentication of essential documents to be used locally and internationally, without any problems and exploitation. The documents can include personal and professional papers, ranging from passports and legal personal identification to wills and deeds. The only caveat is that a notary cannot handle documents tied to a contentious legal matter, where several parties with differing opinions and objectives are involved. A notary public is a figure of authentication, not someone who can offer legal advice or representation.

  • Core duty

For an attorney, their main job is to act in the best interests of their client. While on the other hand, a notary’s core duty is to make sure that all the documents under his review are legally authentic and accurate. A notary needs to follow a standard code of conduct to make sure that the documents are considered credible worldwide instead of just in some places. Being impartial is deemed to be a notary’s most valuable asset. Unlike an attorney’s job, a notary’s role has no room for any sort of empathy or compassion. A notary must be a model of integrity and authenticate documents in an objective, standardized and law-abiding manner.

Who should you hire?

Choosing between a notary or an attorney depends on the services you require. For instance, if you need help in a matter that involves litigation, seeking help from an attorney will be in your best interests. However, hiring a notary is the way to go if you want help regarding real estate planning, conveyancing, or document authentication.

Precision Signing is the best place to get all your documents notarized. Our expert notaries provide services around the clock and offer multilingual document authentication to make sure that they cater to the diverse needs of all their customers. We are committed to providing a quick and efficient solution to all our customers and ensure integrity at every step of the way. Every document that comes under our review goes through a rigorous check to ensure authenticity and validity. We offer attestation of both personal and commercial documents, ranging from title transfer deeds and the power of attorneys to share debt settlements and custody agreements.

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