Suppose I draw up an agreement between two persons that makes no reference to statutory law. I'll give some examples below. Would that constitute the "practice of law"?

Let's say I write a contract for two people that says

Example 1 "Person A will allow Person B to keep his nuisance tree if Person B allows Person A to walk across Person B's lawn to get to his mail box."

Examples 2 "Person A will allow Person B to use Person A's swimming pool if Person B will allow Person A to blast loud music after 10pm."

Suppose I charged a dollar to write these contracts. Would that constitute the practice of law?

If not, when does it become the practice of law? When the money becomes bigger? When the stipulations state that there are penalties? What?

  • Please give a jurisdiction. There are plenty of places (England for instance) where there's no concept of "the practice of law". Even those that do (eg many/all US states - I personally don't know) will differ. Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


It varies by state, for example:

State Bar Association of Connecticut v. Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., 140 A.2d 863, 870 (1958)
The practice of law consists in no small part of work performed outside of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces the giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects and the preparation of legal instruments covering an extensive field.

See http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/cpr/model-def/model_def_statutes.authcheckdam.pdf

In Utah they wrote it into a Rule:

Rule 14-802. Authorization to practice law.
(b)(1) The “practice of law” is the representation of the interests of another person by informing, counseling, advising, assisting, advocating for or drafting documents for that person through application of the law and associated legal principles to that person’s facts and circumstances.

see https://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ucja/ch14/08%20Special%20Practice/USB14-802.html

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