A lawyer is a person who practices law , as an advocate , barrister , attorney , counselor or solicitor or chartered legal executive.  Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
In most countries, particularly civil law countries, there has been a tradition of giving many legal tasks to a variety of civil law notaries , clerks, and scriveners.   These countries do not have "lawyers" in the American sense, insofar as that term refers to a single type of general-purpose legal services provider;  rather, their legal professions consist of a large number of different kinds of law-trained persons, known as jurists , some of whom are advocates who are licensed to practice in the courts.    It is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations that cover all the countries with multiple legal professions, because each country has traditionally had its own peculiar method of dividing up legal work among all its different types of legal professionals.