Practice of law

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In its most general sense, the practice of law involves giving legal advice to clients, drafting legal documents for clients, and representing clients in legal negotiations and court proceedings such as lawsuits, and is applied to the professional services of a lawyer or attorney at law, barrister, solicitor, or civil law notary. However, there is a substantial amount of overlap between the practice of law and various other professions where clients are represented by agents. These professions include real estate, banking, accounting, and insurance. Moreover, a growing number of legal document assistants (LDAs) are offering services which have traditionally been offered only by lawyers and their employee paralegals. Many documents may now be created by computer-assisted drafting libraries, where the clients are asked a series of questions that are posed by the software in order to construct the legal documents.

In the United States, the practice of law is conditioned upon admission to practice of law, and specifically admission to the bar of a particular state or other territorial jurisdiction. The American Bar Association and the American Law Institute are among the organizations that are concerned with the interests of lawyers as a profession and the promulgation of uniform standards of professionalism and ethics, but regulation of the practice of law is left to the individual states, and their definitions vary.

"Unauthorized practice of law" (UPL) is an act sometimes prohibited by statute, regulation, or court rules.

The definition of "unauthorized practice of law" is variable, and is often conclusory and tautological, i.e., it is the doing of a lawyer's or counselor's work by a non-lawyer for money. There is some agreement that appearing in a legally constituted court in a legal proceeding to represent clients (particularly for a fee) is considered to be unauthorized practice of law. But other variations are subject to interpretation and conflicting regulation, particularly as to the scope and breadth of the prohibition. Black's Law Dictionary defines unauthorized practice of law as "The practice of law by a person, typically a nonlawyer, who has not been licensed or admitted to practice law in a given jurisdiction."

The Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers notes:

The definitions and tests employed by courts to delineate unauthorized practice by non-lawyers have been vague or conclusory, while jurisdictions have differed significantly in describing what constitutes unauthorized practice in particular areas.

This page was last edited on 30 March 2018, at 06:22.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Practice_of_law under CC BY-SA license.

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