Unauthorized Practice of Law - UPL

Who regulates the conduct of non-lawyers?
Which organization has jurisdiction over the practice of law?
What is the "practice of law"?
What is the "unauthorized practice of law"?
Who can practice law in Arizona?
Who can provide legal advice in Arizona?

 


 

Who regulates the conduct of non-lawyers when they are acting like lawyers?

Rule 31 of the Arizona Supreme Court gives the State Bar of Arizona the authority to investigate allegations of unauthorized practice of law and to file actions and proceedings related to such activities.  The State Bar of Arizona files the cases with the superior courts, and trials are held before judges of the superior courts.

The Board of Certified Legal Document Preparers has the authority to investigate and prosecute actions and proceedings against Certified Legal Document Preparers.

Which organization has jurisdiction over the practice of law?

The Arizona Supreme Court affirms its jurisdiction over the practice of law in Rule 31 of the Supreme Court Rules.  The Court has the inherent authority to regulate and prevent the practice of law by individuals who are not admitted to practice law in Arizona.

What is the "practice of law"?

The practice of law is defined by Arizona Supreme Court Rule. Rule 31(a)(2)(A) states:

Practice of law means providing legal advice or services to another by:

  • Preparing an document in any medium intended to affect or secure legal rights for a specific person or entity;
  • Preparing or expressing legal opinions;
  • Representing another in a judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative proceedings, or other formal dispute resolution process such as arbitrations and mediations;
  • Preparing any document through any medium for filing in any court, administrative agency or tribunal for a specific person or entity; or
  • Negotiating legal rights or responsibilities for a specific person or entity.

What is the "unauthorized practice of law"?

The unauthorized practice of law is defined by Arizona Supreme Court Rule.  Rule 31(a)(2)(B) states:

Unauthorized practice of law includes but is not limited to:

  • Engaging in the practice of law by persons or entities not authorized to practice pursuant to paragraphs (b) or (c) or specifically admitted to practice pursuant to Rule 38(a);
  • Using the designations, lawyer, attorney at law, counselor at law, law, law office, J.D., Esq., or other equivalent words by any person or entity not authorized to practice law in this state pursuant to paragraphs (b) or (c) or specifically admitted to practice pursuant to Rule 38(a), the use of which is reasonably likely to induce others to believe that the person or entity is authorized to engage in the practice of law in this state.

Who can practice law in Arizona?

Only active members of the State Bar of Arizona and other persons who comply with the Arizona Supreme Court's rules regarding the practice of law may practice law in Arizona.

Who can provide legal advice in Arizona?

Only active members of the State Bar of Arizona and other persons who comply with the Arizona Supreme Court's rules regarding the practice of law may provide legal advice in Arizona.

For more information contact the Unauthorized Practice of Law for the State Bar of Arizona by email at lawyerinfo@staff.azbar.org.

Mailing address:
Unauthorized Practice of Law State Bar of Arizona
4201 N. 24th Street
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016-6266




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