Legal Information v. Legal Advice

As part of its 2012 Strategic Plan, the Access to Justice Commission undertook various efforts to assist self-represented litigants in navigating the court system. The Commission declared it would create a policy clearly distinguishing between legal information and legal advice to provide guidance to court staff, clerks and attorneys assisting in self-help centers. While working on this project, the Commission determined that general guidelines are needed, not just for the groups listed above, but for any person assisting with initiatives to help self-represented litigants or who regularly are sought out by self-represented litigants for legal information.

The Self-Represented Litigants Advisory Committee has developed the following general principles to help differentiate between providing legal advice and legal information. The Commission hopes that these guidelines will provide all those who interact with self-represented litigants with the knowledge to be able to draw the line between legal information and legal advice.

If you are not a lawyer you can provide legal information, but not legal advice.