Oye. I am afraid to step in here a little, but I think that this time Duo has it right. Given the problems of translating across languages, this fight of solicitor v. lawyer * makes sense. Given the differences in legal systems however, it does not. One needs recognize that Spain and Latin America use the Latin/Germanic legal system rather than the Anglo-Saxon Common Law system. Given the differences in the division of responsibilities between the two it is impossible to claim that an abogado is the Spanish parallel of the English solicitor.
ABOGADO: Se encarga de la representación técnica ante los juzgados. Esto significa que es quien representa al cliente directamente ante el juez y puede presentar informes, alegatos, etc. Disfruta de poder de representación de su cliente y ejerce la defensa o argumentación necesarias en las comparecencias.
One might argue that the title Barrister is a better match, but given my experiences working with abogados here in Peru, I can tell you that an abogado has many of the same tasks and responsibilities as the solicitor. In short, it is apples and oranges. For that reason the better term is that of the general category "lawyer" rather than a specific role within the legal system.
If you are dubious I encourage you to click through on that link. It is the blog of Official Judicial Translators and they are very clear on this issue.
*` I would pay to see that.
There are many types of lawyers. Barristers and solicitors are types of lawyers in the United Kingdom. An attorney (or attorney-at-law) is a professional lawyer who passed the bar exam and is qualified to provide legal representation. A lawyer is any person who is in or has passed law school, and includes all the aforementioned types of lawyers.
In Spanish, I am only aware of one term, which means "lawyer": abogado. I'm not sure if there are any distinct terms for types of lawyers like in the United States or United Kingdom.
Well, look at it this way. You are learning two languages in your effort of studying just one. A "two fer!" Whoa! That's a pretty good deal. Can't go wrong with that. And if you ever visit the US, or if the US gets around to invading your country, you'll be able to understand what the Yankies are saying.
I have found that the dictionary of the singular form of a word often does not match the dictionary of the plural form of a word. Definitions in one are often missing in the other. "Abogado(s)" and "funcionario(s)" are two such words. This leads to the problem fredfrombelgium encountered. I have seen dictionaries revised if you report the problem as "Dictionary ....... /lacking." (Sorry I cannot remember exact wording.)