December 09, 2005

Late Night Legal Advice

by Ruth

The other night (although, it was actually morning if we're going to be technical), my younger sister called me to ask me for legal advice. After being assured that she was not calling from jail, I informed her that I was not licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. When I realized she wasn't processing what I meant by that, I explained that I could get into lots of trouble if I gave her legal advice as a student, and that by the way, just because I'm in law school does not mean that I just happen to know everything about the law. Or anything about the law, for that matter.

It turns out that what she really wanted was common sense advice (which I suspected, because I know my sister), but the fact that she called me in the wee hours of the morning to ask about something that was not life and death made me wonder. The holidays are coming, and that means family, and family means questions about "the law." So I want to know your favorite things to tell friends and family members when they inevitably ask you for legal advice. My usual answers are getting kind of boring, and I'd like some witty and sarcastic remarks to answer with instead.

Good luck on finals, everyone!

(And yes, I realize that I haven't posted here since September. I sense a New Year's Resolution in the making.)

EDITED to clarify: What I meant was, what do you tell your friends and family when you explain to them why you can't give them legal advice? Do you just give them the boring, "I can't," or do you say something a little more creative? I just want something new to say when my alcoholic neighbor asks for advice regarding his upcoming DWI trial, because "I'm not allowed to give legal advice, nor would my advice be good anyway" just isn't funny.

December 9, 2005 05:30 PM | TrackBack

there is something uniquely unappealing about the idea of sitting there at christmas dinner, looking to my left and seeing my dumbass cousin drooling over the turkey, and looking to my right and seeing my grandmother who just made it, and trying to explain the concept of proximate causation or the rule against perpetuities...

aint gonna happen

Posted by: nick at December 9, 2005 06:29 PM

I get asked about immigration law, about which I know squat. So I say that I haven't taken that class.

But if you want an answer for your drunk neighbor, the next time he starts to ask, put your hands over your ears and sing "La la la, I can't hear you, because if I, give you advice, I will go to jail, because I am, not a lawyer yet."

Indeed, this strategy may preclude anyone's asking for your advice even once you do pass the bar, on the ground that you're insane.

Posted by: PG at December 10, 2005 05:45 PM

"I'd love to tell you but then I'd have to kill you." Which is kinda true. Alternatively, "Oh since I'll be working at firm XYZ I can't just give out legal advice, but I bill at..."

Posted by: Armen at December 10, 2005 05:57 PM
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