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Basics of the Legal Profession

What is a lawyer? 

We all know that lawyers are a type of legal professional, but so are paralegals, judges, and legislators. What, then, is a lawyer

A lawyer, more precisely known as an attorney, is a professional who is licensed under either state or federal law to give clients legal advice and represent them in legal matters. According to the American Bar Association (the official organization which regulates the legal profession), lawyers have two main duties: first, to uphold the law, and second, to protect the rights of their clients. 

This definition may seem broad, but it is important! Lawyers must be licensed in order to give legal advice, even outside of the courtroom or the boardroom, and bar associations take this rule very seriously. For a person who is not a licensed attorney to give legal advice to a paying client is known as the unauthorized practice of law. In many jurisdictions, the unauthorized practice of law is...

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