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Unauthorized Practice of Law MGL 221 Section 41

Hello everyone,

I researched this subject and have yet to find anything dispositive on the issue. MGL 221 Sec 41 states nothing about a person who willingly discloses that he is not an attorney nor is he admitted to the bar, but does charge to give HIS "legal opinion". I found one really old cases that is on point (sort of), but nothing to sway me.

BROOKS v. VOLUNTEER HARBOR NO. 4, AMERICAN ASS'N OF MASTERS, MATES, AND PILOTS (1919): Basically what happened was an attorney from Maine provided legal services for a Massachusetts business. The record indicates from the onset of the relationship he disclosed that he was not admitted to the bar in MA. The business took his services and then refused to pay because he was not a MA Bar admitted attorney. The attorney ended up winning "reasonable compensation" for his services.

Here's my issue:

How does that work with lay people including law students or paralegals? Are they able to sell their services as "legal opinion" while fully disclosing that they are not attorneys.



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I do not have the annotated MGL in front of me now, but let me offer this opinion:  I would be SHOCKED if any judge in MA applied such a liberal interpretation to Section 41.  As a rule, courts, and the societies they represent, frown upon people providing professional services without a required license. 

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