Self-help Law

 Legal Aid of Kentucky - Legal Self-help Forms 
Clark County, Indiana Legal Self Help Center
Indiana Courts - Self Service Legal Center 

Responsive Law

Policing the Self-help Legal Market: Consumer Protection or Protection of the Legal Cartel, JC Fisher, Indiana Law Review, Vol 34, No 1 (2000)
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A Model Definition of the Practice of Law - If Not Now When - An Alternative Approach To Defining the Practice of Law, SF Turfler, 61 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1903, September, 2004
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How Lawyers Coexist and Compete With Legal Self-Help Websites, Findlaw Law Firm Business Blog

Comments on the American Bar Association's Proposed Model Definition of the Practice of Law 
A threshold problem with the delivery of legal services is, what constitutes legal information as opposed to legal advice?
December 20, 2002

Legal Advice - Wikipedia

Legal Advice: definition from U.S. Legal online (

Legal advice is generally defined as the assessment and application of principles of law to a particular factual situation. It involves the application of legal principles to facts in a manner that (1) in effect predicts a specific resolution of a legal issue or (2) directs, counsels, urges, or recommends a course of action by a disputant or disputants as a means of resolving a legal issue. Merely providing legal information is not considered legal advice. Legal advice generally involves suggesting or predicting a course of action based upon the evaluation of a person’s or entity’s particular legal situation.
The following is an example of one state’s definition of legal advice:
An attorney-client relationship exists and one is deemed to be practicing law whenever "one undertakes for compensation, direct or indirect, to advise another, not his regular employer, in any matter involving the application of legal principles to facts or purposes or desires." 

In the Matter of New York County Lawyers' Association v. Dacey, 21 N.Y.2d 694, 234 N.E.2d 459 (1967)
 The first amendment embodies "a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues [such as the performance of the probate court system] should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open." New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L. Ed.2d 686 (1964). The value of Dacey's views is not lessened because they were presented principally in the form of quotations and anecdotes. Judging from the wide circulation which the book received, this format was extremely effective. Nor does it matter that the opinions expressed were contained in a book comprised largely of legal forms. The argument Dacey sought to press upon the public — the virtue of which we do not pass upon — was that the infirmities of the probate system required every thoughtful person to avoid the administration of his estate by the probate court. Given this viewpoint, the forms which comprised the bulk of How To Avoid Probate! buttressed Dacey's argument that the goal he advocated was not only desirable but feasible. Dacey's book was therefore protected by the first amendment's guarantee of free speech and any attempt to suppress it on the ground that it constituted the unauthorized practice of law must be scrutinized with extreme care. This is not to say, however, that the inhibiting effect of the Association's action on protected speech is dispositive of the issue before us. An overzealous public prosecutor may create an unjustified restraint on expression by bringing a completely unwarranted prosecution for obscenity and still be immune from damages in a civil action. Thus, although the restriction on freedom of expression induced by the Association's attempt to prevent the distribution of Dacey's book to the public does not completely resolve the question in this case, it is an important factor to be weighed in the balance.8     [. As we have stated, at common law a judge retained his immunity even if his decision was clearly incorrect; he lost his immunity only if he decided a case over which his court clearly lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 335, 20 L.Ed. 646 (1871). This distinction between a mere excess of jurisdiction and a clear absence of jurisdiction has been applied to prosecutors as well as judges. Bauers v. Heisel, 361 F.2d 581 (3d Cir. 1966) (en banc), cert. denied, 386 U.S. 1021, 87 S.Ct. 1367, 18 L.Ed.2d 457 (1967). It would thus be possible to deny the Association immunity on the ground that it clearly lacked jurisdiction to impede the dissemination of ideas to the public generally. However, in our view, the distinction between a lack of jurisdiction and an excessive use of jurisdictional power is artificial and overly conceptual. Whether the Association may successfully claim immunity in this case should depend not on the formal characterization of its actions, or the "pigeonhole" into which they fall, but rather on the relative weight of the interests which its actions furthered and those which it frustrated.]
What is 'Legal Advice?, from

KRS 524.130 Unauthorized practice of law.
(1) Except as provided in KRS 341.470 and subsection (2) of this section, a person is guilty of unlawful practice of law when, without a license issued by the Supreme Court, he engages in the practice of law, as defined by rule of the Supreme Court. (2) A licensed nonresident attorney in good standing, although not licensed in Kentucky, is not guilty of unlawful practice if, in accordance with rules adopted by the Supreme Court, he practices law under specific authorization of a court. (3) Unlawful practice of law is a Class B misdemeanor.

Effective: July 13, 1984

The Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.020 defines the practice of law this way:
 "The practice of law is any service rendered involving legal knowledge or legal advice, whether of representation, counsel or advocacy in or out of court, rendered in respect to the rights, duties, obligations, liabilities, or business relations of one requiring the services. But nothing herein shall prevent any natural person not holding himself out as a practicing attorney from drawing any instrument to which he is a party without consideration unto himself therefor. An appearance in the small claims division of the district court by a person who is an officer of or who is regularly employed in a managerial capacity by a corporation or partnership which is a party to the litigation in which the appearance is made shall not be considered as unauthorized practice of law."

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