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Author Topic: Practice of "Law" w/out a License  (Read 2047 times)

jonlevy

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Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« on: January 16, 2014, 10:59:47 PM »
Given that a number of DL students won't pass the California Bar - there are actually a number of ways to use your JD and practice law without out a license.

1.  Social Security Advocate - they do the same job as an attorney and collect a similar fee; only difference is that SSA does not withhold their fee like it does for attorneys sometimes.

2.  Veterans Disability Advocate

3.  Tax Court (if you can qualify)

In England McKenzie Friends can collect fees:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/case-studies-on-fee-charging-mckenzie-friends/?utm_source=emailhosts&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PU+-+16%2F01%2F14

Anyone know of any other examples?

livinglegend

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 10:41:11 AM »
YOu can also represent yourself and defend yourself against bill collectors etc much more effectively with some legal training.

While in law school I was able to get out of tickets, b.s medical bills etc, probably saved 10k.

I.M.D.Law

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2014, 12:16:20 AM »
This is a nonsense argument.

If you can do this without a license, you can do it without an unaccredited degree too

jonlevy

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 11:40:43 PM »
Representing yourself does not count.  McKenzie Friend is creating a problem in England:

http://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/probe-growth-professional-mckenzie-friends

There are also professional lay advocates in out of the way English jurisdictions where solicitors are scarce.

Given that many people cannot afford a lawyer in the US - even a lay advocate with some knowledge might be better than going pro per.


jonlevy

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 11:42:17 PM »
Add Immigration to the list though that can be state regulated as in California and the requirements for non lawyers can be tricky and may require both training and sponsorship.

http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/sf/imm-consultant-qualifications.htm

I.M.D.Law

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2014, 01:02:35 AM »
Depending on your undergrad, I guess Patent Agent can make this list too.
Not sure why anyone would want to do that though.

jonlevy

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2014, 08:42:06 AM »
Patent Agent is a good one.  With a JD, one can make some of these professions pay as well as a solo law practice.  Social Security Advocates charge the same as attorneys and there are numerous lawyers who have made a good living just confining their work to Social Security.  If I had a choice between a an advocate without a JD or a JD from a California registered online school, the latter might have an edge. A lot of California distance learning JDs will never pass the bar but that does not mean they are incompetent.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 12:58:38 PM »
The best bet is probably SS advocate, simply because there are so many potential clients.

Something like McKenzie Friends is probably necessary in the U.S. in order to provide low(er) cost, basic legal assistance. But it's got to be regulated, and the regs need to be enforced.

Here in CA we have a problem with "notarios", which are a common feature in Latin America but operate here without any oversight. They often have no legal training, don't carry malpractice insurance, and give out bad advice. In many cases they are simply practicing law without a license, and their clients get what they pay for.

I'd rather see that replaced with something like McKenzie Friends.

I.M.D.Law

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2014, 05:01:20 PM »
The best bet is probably SS advocate, simply because there are so many potential clients.

Something like McKenzie Friends is probably necessary in the U.S. in order to provide low(er) cost, basic legal assistance. But it's got to be regulated, and the regs need to be enforced.

Here in CA we have a problem with "notarios", which are a common feature in Latin America but operate here without any oversight. They often have no legal training, don't carry malpractice insurance, and give out bad advice. In many cases they are simply practicing law without a license, and their clients get what they pay for.

I'd rather see that replaced with something like McKenzie Friends.
I see flaws with this still though. Who is going to hire them? What firms? Are they to go solo? Where does the experience needed to do a quality job come from? Do they "learn as they go"? If so how did they afford liability insurance for when they (and they will) get sued along the way?
How did they survive while waiting on the contingency fees as well? They often takes years and many times don't come at all.

If you can get into a ESTABLSIHED FIRM then yes. If not, then it's a bad idea.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Practice of "Law" w/out a License
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2014, 06:45:32 PM »
 I agree, there are many associated problems. For selfish purposes I would rather see the legal field restricted to lawyers. However, many people can't afford a lawyer and need some very basic guidance. There could be a way to regulate this stuff, as they do in the UK. 

They tend to operate as solo practitioners now, and I assume that would be the case even if they got some kind of license. Firms aren't going to hire them.

Another issue is this: many of their clients may not care whether or not they're licensed or bonded, so regulating the field may not have much impact. 

As it is now, they are allowed to help with stuff like document preparation. However, they routinely give (very bad) legal advice. It's a serious problem.