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I have heard that it is against the law. A message reads as follows describing this: Can we have an investigation of the attorney for practicing law without a license?

I asked my mother and she said that it is against the law to practice law in a professional way without being a certified lawyer. I checked the internet and it turned out to be true. Why?*

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    I’m voting to close this question because it's a simple Why-Question. Why questions of this kind are always "Because it was written into law by politicians." Such questions about legislative intent are most often Off-Topic (unless they are researching legal history). Law.SE is mostly about what the law is, not why it is - In most cases why is answerable with politics said so. – Trish Dec 18 '20 at 13:00
  • Not least, it would tend to result in injustice. Which makes a huge mess for courts to clean up later. Just one example: If someone were terribly represented, a defendant could claim not to have gotten a fair trial. That's a right! So courts need a mechanism to say "Nope, your representation WAS competent". – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 13 at 0:05
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Why is it against the law to practice law without a license?

Most, if not all, jurisdictions have decided to implement a law that requires such a licence (or similar) to ensure that practitioners are properly authorised, regulated and competent in the best interests of the administration of justice and to maintain a high standard of professionalism. Any shortcomings can then be addressed either by law or the relevant regulating body.

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The justification is that the purpose of such laws is to protect people who need legal help from being victimized by con men, or by people who may be well-meaning but who do not know anything about the law and thus are not competent to help. I presume that few people facing serious charges that could result in a huge fine or imprisonment would want to be represented by someone who's legal knowledge consisted of having watched a few episodes of "Perry Mason".

The more cynical explanation is that lawyers got together and had these rules passed to cut down on competition. If you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to be allowed to be a lawyer, then there will be fewer lawyers, and thus less competition, and thus lawyers can get away with charging higher fees. Suppose you owned a business. Wouldn't you like to have laws in place that prevented competing businesses from opening and taking away your customers?

Believe what you like. I'm sure the reality is a mixture of both reasons.

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  • This doesn't explain why there is no similar licensing requirement for gardeners, mop-operators, lumberyard workers, car salesmen, computer programmers and repair people... and elected officials. Why does caveat emptor not resolve the issues that you raise? – user6726 Dec 18 '20 at 17:03
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    There certainly are similar licensing requirements for many professions: doctors, teachers, truck drivers, plumbers, hair dressers, etc etc. This article, brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2015/01/27/… describes a study that found that almost 30% of Americans are in jobs that require a license. Why some but not all? Maybe government officials believe that the dangers of incompetence or exploitation in some areas are not as dangerous as others. ... – Jay Dec 18 '20 at 18:32
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    ... Maybe the practictioners in some professions tend to be more laissez-faire and don't lobby for licensing to keep out competition, and resist it when others try to impose it. Maybe there are other reasons. – Jay Dec 18 '20 at 18:33

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