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Published by on Monday, December 29, 2008 at 3:21:00 PM

Understanding Legal Advice

by: Stephen Kahn - Legal advice is a generic term that covers the need for knowledge on all legal matters. It entails using knowledge of the law, its tenets, loopholes, and much more to determine subsequent courses of actions for clients. In essence, telling a client what path they should take or where they should go next.

Most countries require that one has a license to practice law before dispensing legal advice. Only a lawyer who has their license can offer legal advice to clients, even if there is no action that has been taken or the client hasn't even begun to form an idea of what they need. This requirement applies to anyone dispensing legal advice, from in house financial counselors (financial lawyers) and conveyance's (those who draft documents for the transfer of property like deeds or mortgages) may spend little time in court, to high-powered defense attorneys.

If legal advice is dispensed without the necessary license, which precludes taking the bar exam, it counts as the crime of unauthorized practice of law and is a criminal offense in most states. While different states might have slightly different rules or categorizations of the offense, unless there is fraud, violation of consumer protection laws, or theft involved, the individual will usually get a slap on the wrist and an order to stop giving out unauthorized legal advice. If the advice given is fraudulent or there are bad intentions behind the advice, such as the offenses stated above, unauthorized practice of law is a crime that is punishable with jail-time and hefty fines.

However, other countries often have different rules when it comes to the dispensation of legal advice. In some cases, jurists who hold law degrees may provide legal advice to individuals or companies whether or not they have a license to do so. In other countries, accountants are allowed to give what is essentially legal advice on tax and financial matters. In countries like Wales and England, there is no law prohibiting anyone from giving legal advice; in Belgium, notaries of the law are allowed to give legal advice.

Thus, legal advice can take many forms depending on the country in which it is practiced. It is always imperative, if you're interested in seeking legal advice or counsel, to look around and find out what the laws are surrounding legal advice and those who are allowed to give it. This will not only help you find a truly licensed lawyer, but protect you from those who try to convince you they are qualified to dispense legal advice without a license. is a popular legal directory that helps users locate legal professionals across the country while providing the legal community and litigation support providers with a low cost method to market their services to other professionals and members of the public across the country. To find out more, please visit

About The Author

Stephen Kahn writes for the site
Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, Computer Professional, and Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune, formerly known as, Poona University, also like to write articles based on my personal experiences.