Unauthorized practice of law

The unauthorized practice of law (UPL) is practicing law without an attorney’s license. This is to protect public against the practitioners who are not qualified in provision of the service. With the growth of multidisciplinary practices (MDPs), the practice of law is becoming much important as many unqualified people are offering services that were initially offered by lawyers.

This has attracted a special concern to lawyers, courts staffs and lawyers who are working in foreign land. The law in the United States recognizes the rights of individuals to be represented or represent themselves in legal matters. The law protects the privilege of protecting others, this is to ensure that those who present others are in deed qualified by experience, education and training and they can be held accountable for any misrepresentation and unethical practices.

Non-lawyers and MDPs may not be qualified by either of the above, thus they are not accountable for their actions and are not prevented by the law from using the system for their own purpose and scrutinize those who rely on them.

This has attracted the need to understand who non-lawyers are and who are authorized practitioners of the law and the consequences one may suffer if attended by unqualified personnel, the need to recognize lawyers and what are the clients’ rights in representation. (Bonnie, 1989)