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Unauthorized Practice of Law

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PA:253 Legal Ethics | Unauthorized practice of Law | Unit 8 Assignment |

12/11/2012 |

D Seagraves
PA: 253 Legal Ethics
Unit 8 Assignment
December 11, 2012

Polly is a paralegal that works for a law firm, one day she receives a message from a friend, Mr. Stan Smith, Mr. Smith wanted to know if grounds for divorce in North Carolina include adultery. Before Polly was able to call Mr. Smith back, her phone rings again this time it is Mrs. Smith, another friend and also Stan’s wife. Mrs. Smith leaves a message as well, this time she asks if she has grounds for a divorce in the state of North Carolina, and follows by telling Polly that she just found out that her husband had an affair. Polly is now torn about what to do, does she call her friends back giving them both advice, or does she explain to them the issue at hand. Due to the fact that Polly is a paralegal and not an attorney she is unable to participate in the practice of law. The practice of Law involves giving legal advice, drafting documents, and representing clients in a legal stance. In order to do this, one must be a licensed attorney. Unauthorized practice of Law, also known as UPL, Basically what this means is the application of a rule of law to a particular person’s fact pattern and giving a response or answer (Orlik, 2008). This can be done knowingly or mistakenly however either way can cause serious issues. Polly first calls Mr. Smith back, the phone rings three times then she hears his voice on the other line. Mr. Smith is excited to hear back from Polly and again repeats his question to her. Polly, not wanting to commit UPL informs her friend that she is only a paralegal and that answering any questions could cause her to get into trouble if any issues were to arise. She however does state to Mr. Smith that she can read North Carolinas grounds for divorce. She proceeds to…...

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