A jurist is a professional who studies, develops, applies or otherwise deals with the law. The term is widely used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage. In most of Continental Europe any person who possesses a degree in law is called a jurist.
There is no alternative word for "jurist" in English-speaking countries outside the U.S. Members of the general public are largely unaware of the term and are likely to confuse it with "juror". The term "legal professional" may be used for convenience. Within the legal community usage of "jurist" is usually restricted to eminent judges or academics. Apart from this people working in law are usually described as "lawyers" or solicitors if they are practicing law, or as belonging to a more specific branch of the legal profession, such as barrister or advocate, judge or law professor. Less qualified professionals may be referred to as paralegals.
 Continental Europe
In some of Continental Europe, anyone with a degree in law (e.g., a bachelor or master of laws) may be called a jurist. Such jurists can practice law as employees hired by law firms or legal departments of other business entities. Being a jurist does not necessarily mean that one has the privileges usually attributed to "attorney" or "solicitor". Often there are two classes of qualified lawyers, those at the "jurist" level and those known as barristers or advocates who may act in the highest courts