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Can one start a business as a non lawyer and help people with there divorce .

Tampa, FL |

Can one print out approved court documents and help people fill out there documents for a divorce with out a lawyer if a disclosure from non lawyer is signed. Please help.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Best answer

    Many states, including Florida, choose not to prohibit independent paralegals (paralegals who don't work for lawyers) or "non-lawyers." My mother did it for 20 years in the area you posted from (Tampa), and she made quite a career out of it. The other lawyers are right to caution you, though. There are strict laws in Florida and elsewhere against giving legal advice without a having a law license, and I'm not sure the laws are always clear. Various courts (like the nation's bankruptcy courts) also have rules regarding what non-lawyers can do, and they are quick to drag non-lawyers into court for violating the rules (their rule is "typing and copying only").

    Non-lawyers are common in south Florida, but not so much in Tampa Bay, though they were once numerous here. I wish you luck should you choose this career.

    The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!


  2. There is a prohibition against the Unlicensed Practice of Law. You can refer to the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar for additional information.

    Tami L. Augen Rhodes

    This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.


  3. People have tried to sdo it but they always end up running afoul of the unauthorized practice of law. Be very careful.


  4. My colleagues are right, lawyers are understandably protective of our territory, and legislatures are often lawyers, so every state that I know of bars the unlicensed practice of law. Even the big sites like LegalZoom are fighting court battles against the bar associations, so smaller companies don't stand much of a chance.

    Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


  5. I would not recommend it.

    You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a divorce and family law firm located in Orlando, Florida. Communication through Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to our office until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


  6. Cannot practice law without a license. Advising people as to forms is practicing law.


  7. Consult with your state bar regarding the relevant rules.

    This is not legal advice. This response is provided for general information only, as a public service. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship; nor is it an attempt to create an attorney/client relationship. Consult with local counsel in your jurisdiction about the specifics of your case, which is the only way to gain true meaningful legal guidance and/or representation.

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