Scope of nonlawyer representation

Asked 7 months ago - Chicago, IL

I have three questions:
1. can a nonlawyer represent trust/housing coop in court?
2. can a nonlaywer represent trust/housing coop in arbitration/mediation proceedings?
3. can a nonlawyer prepare trust agreement (in whole) without beneficiaries written approval?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer to all your questions is that legal representation requires an attorney licensed in the state in which the representation is needed. Practicing law without a license is a crime, at least in Illinois, where your question originated. So then the next question is whether the activities you ask about are legal representation. If you have a doubt, you should assume the answer is yes and make your decisions accordingly. The activities you specifically ask about would be considered the practice of law.

  2. Thomas O. Moens

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, no, and no. As to your comments to other attorneys regarding your last question, preparing a trust agreement on behalf of someone else would unquestionably be the practice of law.

    For more information: By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no... more
  3. Pearlette Vivian Toussant


    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . More facts are needed to answer your questions. Non lawyers cannot act as lawyers. So as to questions 1 and 2, in what capacity would they appear? As to 3, it is unwise, but many people attempt to draft their own estate documents. My best advice is to consult in private with an attorney who can get to the bottom of your questions and advise you appropriately. Best of luck.

    Answer given for general advice and is not a legal opinion, which would require an analysis of the facts and... more
  4. Richard Todd Rosenstein

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An non-lawyer may not hold themselves out to be a lawyer and/or practice law. If a non-lawyer practices law, it is considered the unauthorized practice of law. Hire a lawyer to handle your legal matters.

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