Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Fake Lawyers

Just had one message me yesterday. "Hi. I'm a lawyer with a redemptionsong02/10/17
Wow that quote made my head hurt. cocolawyer02/10/17
Not directly. But I've been on the other side of that bef isthisit02/10/17
I hate family members for that reason. I always get legal qu cocolawyer02/10/17
can you draft a will for me.... no..... but it is just jdcumlaude02/10/17
In my state, the authorities have taken the position that UP onehell02/10/17
" Or, as is common for in-house folks, business side will wa inho2solo02/11/17
"Hi. I'm a lawyer with a JD. I don't have a law license." inho2solo02/11/17
Law licensure is a joke. You have to take CLE's and spend h tedandlisa12302/11/17
Never done DR, but I thought you don't need license, just JD shikes02/11/17
Most outfits require a license. tedandlisa12302/11/17
So they can bill you through as lawyer fees, inflated ~ 10X. inho2solo02/12/17
Agreed. prodigy02/11/17
Note, this guy was not some noob. His JD was early '90's. redemptionsong02/12/17
Now I have more questions. 1. What prompted him to messag isthisit02/12/17
1) Statement in a chat group that he worked at a law firm so redemptionsong02/14/17
1) Statement in a chat group that he worked at a law firm so redemptionsong02/14/17
redemptionsong (Feb 10, 2017 - 10:23 am)

Just had one message me yesterday. "Hi. I'm a lawyer with a JD. I don't have a law license." No kidding. Pretty much a direct quote. I told him no, he was not lawyer and I couldn't believe he just told me that. He failed to comprehend the concept and told me I was harassing him. As if. Anyone had any similar experience?

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cocolawyer (Feb 10, 2017 - 11:23 am)

Wow that quote made my head hurt.

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isthisit (Feb 10, 2017 - 11:32 am)

Not directly.

But I've been on the other side of that before I was licensed.

I had to keep explaining to friends/family that until I was sworn in I couldn't appeal their parking ticket to the Supremes.

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cocolawyer (Feb 10, 2017 - 12:48 pm)

I hate family members for that reason. I always get legal questions about stupid questions or questions outside my wheelhouse. When I tell them that I have no clue about environmental law, they look on in bewilderment.

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jdcumlaude (Feb 10, 2017 - 1:14 pm)

can you draft a will for me....

no.....

but it is just a simple will..

That may be so...but...I know you have a large amount of wealth and multiple family issues that make a will a bad idea....I know that better ideas exist, but I have no idea what they are....go talk to attorney X....

How much will that cost?

I don't know...I am no longer in practice....



This interaction is why I want to let the license lapse

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onehell (Feb 10, 2017 - 4:17 pm)

In my state, the authorities have taken the position that UPL is the supreme court's problem, and their problem alone, due to separation of powers. The court, meanwhile, has no budget with which to pursue UPL cases so unless you actually appeared in court they're not coming after you, and even then they'll usually just tell you to knock it off. The bar will put out all kinds of advisory opinions about UPL, but they're purely academic - they'll never actually prosecute a case unless it involved a court appearance.

There are tons of "consultants," usually JDs with an inactive and/or out-of-state license, who if pressed simply say they were providing "strategic" advice but who are basically running law firms that do everything short of appearing in court. A lot of small businesses also turn to their CPA or CFO for pretty much all their legal needs. I've posted attorney jobs that are clearly specified as such, and gotten resumes from all manner of unlicensed people who say "well the job doesn't involve going to court so my experience should trump any need for licensure." Don't even get me started on HR people, real estate agents, compliance people, contract specialists, etc.

Frankly, I think this is the way the wind is blowing. More and more, the main right a law license gives you is the right to advertise that you have a law license. The value of being able to say you have a law license, meanwhile, is more and more left to the market to decide, like with those industry certifications you pick up by attending conferences and passing privately-administered tests that you take in some hotel conference center like "certified risk management professional" or whatever. Heck, given how specific and specialized these certifications are, they're often seen as superior to the increasingly obsolete and overly expensive generalist law license.

And even when transactional clients do think there's value in hiring someone licensed, half the time it's because they think they can just start CCing you on every email and make everything privileged. Or, as is common for in-house folks, business side will want to just "run this by you" and expect you to bless it, never to put the brakes on anything or cause what they will perceive as needless delay.

Sure, the courts themselves are a last bastion of exclusivity, but even they are slowly eroding with the limited license legal technicians and such. Plus, more and more of what used to be decided by courts is instead decided by some administrative agency that can make its own rules. Many of these agencies will allow non-attorney appearances so long as you claim that making such appearances is not your "primary activity" or whatever.

I've long ago given up on playing the licensure card unless something is actually being litigated, and even then only if it's in a court of general jurisdiction. Otherwise, it just results in eye-rolls.

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inho2solo (Feb 11, 2017 - 10:21 am)

" Or, as is common for in-house folks, business side will want to just "run this by you" and expect you to bless it, never to put the brakes on anything or cause what they will perceive as needless delay. "


This. JHC, yes. Woke up to one of these in my inbox last week. "Hey, we're about to submit these 947 PDFs to a health authority in Asia. Management said legal needs to review it first. We have to send it out by COB today. Can you take a look?"

No, no, no, no and no. I cannot properly vet 36,000 pages of tech files in the 30 unassigned minutes remaining on my calendar today.

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inho2solo (Feb 11, 2017 - 10:23 am)

"Hi. I'm a lawyer with a JD. I don't have a law license."


Ever notice that these are the folks who seem to think (if you check their LinkedIn or resume) that the degree they were conferred is a "Juris DoctorATE Degree"?

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tedandlisa123 (Feb 11, 2017 - 4:21 pm)

Law licensure is a joke. You have to take CLE's and spend hundred of dollars in fees to be a $19 an hr click monkey for example, but the tens of thousands of consultants, compliance professionals, real estate and HR people who really are "practicing law" much more in a general sense get to avoid all this nonsense.

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shikes (Feb 11, 2017 - 7:23 pm)

Never done DR, but I thought you don't need license, just JD, to be a click monkey?

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tedandlisa123 (Feb 11, 2017 - 9:13 pm)

Most outfits require a license.

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inho2solo (Feb 12, 2017 - 1:11 pm)

So they can bill you through as lawyer fees, inflated ~ 10X.

In the recent BofA investors' settlement the judge hacked out something like $10 million of the firms' claimed fees, in large part because they were billing doc review "temporary attorneys" at around $340 an hour.

Sure as shooting these "temporary attorneys" weren't getting paid like a normal associate who bills at that rate.

They also got slapped around a bit by the judge for billing paralegals at an average of $300.

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prodigy (Feb 11, 2017 - 6:05 pm)

Agreed.

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redemptionsong (Feb 12, 2017 - 7:27 am)

Note, this guy was not some noob. His JD was early '90's.

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isthisit (Feb 12, 2017 - 1:23 pm)

Now I have more questions.

1. What prompted him to message you?
2. Is his JD from St. George's School of Law - Grenada, Trump University - Online, or some other toilet?

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redemptionsong (Feb 14, 2017 - 9:33 am)

1) Statement in a chat group that he worked at a law firm somewhere. In a place you would probably not be surprised at. He apparently saw my workplace and wanted to chat.

2) A legit school but nothing ever after.

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redemptionsong (Feb 14, 2017 - 9:37 am)

1) Statement in a chat group that he worked at a law firm somewhere. In a place you would probably not be surprised at. He apparently saw my workplace and wanted to chat.

2) A legit school but nothing ever after.

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