Legal Question in Personal Injury in Missouri

what constitute practing law with out a license

what is it you must do to be guilty of practing law wiyhout a license.what are the stepts they must prove.can you show some one the law ,read it to them,in a fire arm safty class I am giving.

Asked on 5/15/04, 9:24 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony DeWitt Bartimus, Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, PC

Re: what constitute practing law with out a license

Merely copying a statute and handing it out will not run you afoul of the Missouri statute on practicing law without a license. The statute says "law business" is hereby defined to be and is the advising or counseling for a valuable consideration of any person, firm, association, or corporation as to any secular law or the drawing or the procuring of or assisting in the drawing for a valuable consideration of any paper, document or instrument affecting or relating to secular rights or the doing of any act for a valuable consideration in a representative capacity, obtaining or tending to obtain or securing or tending to secure for any person, firm, association or corporation any property or property rights whatsoever. "

So, for example, courts have held that the preparing of real estate contracts, deeds, notes, leases, chattel mortgages on standardized forms as part of transaction effectuated by real estate broker, does not amount to practice of law; but the preparation of such instruments in transactions in which he is not acting as broker or the making of separate charges for such services even when he acts as broker, or the giving of legal advice, constitutes practice of law and is in contempt of court if done by nonlawyer. Hulse v. Criger, 363 Mo. 26, 247 S.W.2d 855.

You in essence cannot give legal advice to someone about what they should or should not do, and you cannot draw up legal papers on their behalf as set out in the statute. The practice of law is regulated by Chapter 484 of the Revised Statutes, and may be found at

I hope this helps.

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Answered on 5/17/04, 9:13 am

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