Attorneys and Notaries: Unveiling the Key Differences

Frequently, our clients inquire about distinguishing between notaries and lawyers.

Both notaries and attorneys offer akin services to the public.

In the following sections, we elucidate essential distinctions for your consideration when determining the suitable legal professional for your needs.

Difference Between Attorney and Notary
Attorney vs. Notary. Source (Indeed)


Becoming a notary necessitates the attainment of two university degrees, comprising an undergraduate degree and a two-year Master’s degree.

After completing their academic journey, notaries are expected to undergo a six-week practicum and participate in a three-week mentorship program.

On the other hand, aspiring attorneys must obtain two university degrees, including an undergraduate degree, followed by a three-year law degree.

Upon graduating from law school, lawyers must undertake the Professional Legal Training Course (PLTC) during a one-year articling position under the supervision of a practicing attorney.

Practice Areas

From a practical standpoint, the primary distinction between notaries and lawyers pertains to the nature of legal advice and services they offer.

Lawyers have the capacity to assist clients across a broad spectrum of legal issues, encompassing real estate, corporate transactions, family law, and criminal law.

In contrast, while notaries and lawyers both engage in legal matters, notaries do not undertake representation in court or become involved in litigation.

Notaries are authorized to provide legal services related to wills, affidavits, real estate transactions, administering oaths, and other non-adversarial legal concerns.

When determining whether to engage a notary or a lawyer to address your legal requirements, it is crucial to assess the specific nature of your legal needs.


Lawyers aren’t always pricier than notaries.

Sometimes, attorneys sometimes charging more, depending on factors like case complexity, timelines, and the legal expert’s experience.

Costs vary person to person and firm to firm.

Insurance Coverage

Another notable contrast between attorneys and notaries lies in their insurance coverage.

In the event that a lawyer’s mistake leads to a client’s loss, the client may be eligible for compensation.

Conversely, notaries do not have an equivalent insurance scheme.

If a notary’s error results in a client’s loss, the client may have to pursue compensation directly from the notary.