There is occasionally some confusion over what the different titles that lawyers have actually mean. This article will not provide a definitive answer but can provide some guidance.
Barrister & Solicitor: A Barrister & Solicitor is a lawyer who is able to meet and provide advice to clients and appear in Court on their behalf. Note that most lawyers in New Zealand are Barristers and Solicitors.
Barrister Sole: These are lawyers who are eligible to appear in Court. They must be instructed by a Solicitor before acting.
Law Clerk: These are people who may or may not have completed their law degrees and Professionals. They have not yet been admitted to the Bar and cannot yet describe themselves as lawyers. The title will usually change once they have been admitted.
Solicitor/Staff Solicitor/Senior Solicitor: Once a person graduates and is admitted to the High Court as a Barrister and Solicitor, they can hold themselves out as a Solicitor.
Associate/Senior Associate: A lawyer who is more senior than a solicitor-level lawyer. Depending on the firm,
Consultant/Special Counsel/Of Counsel: These terms are not necessarily interchangeable, but generally they refer to a lawyer who has a particular expertise on which the firm may call on from time-to-time, or who may work with a particular client.
Corporate/In-House Solicitor: A lawyer who works within the legal team of a company or non law-firm organisation. Note that in-house and corporate lawyers are restricted to advising the organisation they work for and are prohibited from advising the general public on legal issues.
Note, though, that not all firms will use the same titles. Someone moving from one firm as an Associate might go into another firm as a Senior Solicitor, depending on the nature of the two firms.