Brief vs. file

Hi again, could you please tell me the difference between a brief and a file? And while we are at it, what exactly is a dossier?

Hi Andreana,

Brief is often used as the collected information that a lawyer uses to prosecute/defend a client.

It can also be used as the scope of a task - the extent of a task as in: Part of my brief is to answer questions on this forum.

File is a very general word meaning literally a collection of papers/documents contained in a folder.

Dossier is often a collection of papers/documents/pieces of information relating to a significant task or created for a special purpose. Often the task is of some importance. To quote from a recent use of the word. The British government compiled a dossier to justify the reasons for its decision together with other countries to invade Iraq.