practice of law – the professional work of a lawyer (i.e. conducting court cases, preparing transaction-related paperwork, preparing legal opinions, drafting estate-planning documents, advising clients)

     This page is continued from Legal Precepts Adopted into U.S. Law (from Europe) through the Constitution >>>> Roman “Civil Republic” State Law >>>> State Law Consists of Two Parts >>>> Substantive Law >>>> Officer >>>> Officers of the Court >>>> Lawyer:


practice of law:

1. The professional work of a lawyer, encompassing a broad range of services such as conducting cases in court, preparing papers necessary to bring about various transactions from conveying land to effecting corporate mergers, preparing legal opinions on various points of law, drafting wills and other estate-planning documents, and advising clients on legal questions.  *  The term also includes activities that comparatively few lawyers engage in but that require legal expertise, such as drafting legislation and court rules. — aka legal practice.

1. Rendering the services peculiar to the profession. The work of an attorney at law In the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and, in general, advising clients and taking action for them in matters connected with law. 7 Am J 2d Attys § 1.

Inclusive of counseling as well as trial work. 30A Am J Rev ed Judges § 11.

The giving of such advice or the rendition of such service as requires the use of any degree of legal knowledge or skill. Anno: 111 ALR 23.

Not a business open to all, since it is limited to qualified individuals. Re Co-Operative Law. Co. 198 NY 479, 92 NE 15. [2]

1. The work of an attorney at law in the preparation of pleadings and other papers in connection with a lawsuit or other proceeding; the trial or management of such an action on behalf of clients before judges, courts, and administrative agencies; the preparation of legal instruments and documents of all kinds; and advising clients with respect to their legal rights and taking action for them in matters connected with the law. [3]


unauthorized practice of law – the practice of law by a nonlawyer who has not been licensed or admitted to practice law in a given jurisdiction.

multidisciplinary practice of law(1987) A fee-sharing association of lawyers and nonlawyers in a firm that delivers both legal and nonlegal services.  *  Rule 5.4 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct effectively bars multidisciplinary practice. Under this rule, a lawyer cannot

(1) share legal fees with nonlawyers,
(2) form a partnership involving the practice of law with nonlawyers,
(3) form a law firm in which a nonlawyer has an interest, or
(4) allow a nonlawyer to direct the lawyer’s professional judgment.

— Abbr. MDP. — Sometimes termed multidisciplinary practice of law.


practitioner ( 16c) A person engaged in the practice of a profession, especially law or medicine.

law practice (17c) An attorney’s professional business, including the relationships that the attorney has with clients and the goodwill associated with those relationships.

law reporter – 1. Hist. A lawyer who attended judicial Sessions to summarize proceedings and transcribe judicial pronouncements. — Often shortened to reporter.

     Excerpt from L.W. Abbott’s Law Reporting in England (1973):

     “The sixteenth century was a time when to become a recognized law-reporter was the mark of the successful practitioner, when a lawyer’s reputation usually governed the value attached to any cases he collected. Yet no survey of these men and their work can be properl undertaken without preliminary consideration of the Tu or Yearbooks which lasted intermittently until 1535. In common with those of previous reigns, these tattered remnants of a great medieval tradition stand as a monument to the articulate, if nameless, reporters of the early common law. So much has been written over the last hundred years by so many eminent scholars on the origins, maturity and decline of the Yearbooks that further comment may seem sterile, if not presumptuous. Nonetheless, it is hardly possible to appreciate the development of ‘private’ reporting without endeavoring to place it against the background of the Yearbook tradition. The picture which emerges is not so much that of one system ending and another taking its place; rather, what we see is the slow decline of the one and the parallel growth of the other, both unpremeditated and probably unrelated. [4]

2. See REPORT (3).

law report – See REPORT (3).

law review (1845) 1. A journal containing scholarly articles, essays, and other commentary on legal topics by professors, judges, law students, and practitioners.  *  Law reviews are usu. published at law schools and edited by law students <law reviews are often grossly overburdened with substantive footnotes>. 2. The law-student staff and editorial board of such a journal <she made law review>. — Abbr. L. Rev. — aka law journal. See LAW JOURNAL.

law school (17c) An institution for formal legal education and training, usu. a graduate department or school in a university but sometimes a stand-alone school for graduate studies in law.  *  Graduates who complete the standard program, usu. three years in length, receive a Juris Doctor (or, formerly, a Bachelor of Laws).

accredited law school (1905) A law school approved by the state and the Association of American Law Schools, or by the state and the American Bar Association.  *  In all states except California, only graduates of an accredited law school may take the bar examination.

law school admissions test – A standardized examination purporting to measure the likelihood of success in law school.  *  Most American law schools use the results of this examination in admissions decisions. — Abbr. LSAT (cl-sat).

law society (1821) 1. An organization whose membership is Open to lawyers and law students and Offers benefits such as resources for professional contacts and education. 2. (cap) English law. A professional organization in England, chartered in 1845, governing the education, Practice, and conduct of articled clerks and solicitors.  *  A solicitor must be enrolled with the Law Society to the legal profession.

Law Society of Scotland A professional organization it in 1949, governing the admission, conduct, and practice of solicitors enrolled to practice in Scotland. [1]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: L.W. Abbott, Law Reporting in England 1485-1585 (1973).


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