Legal advice is the application of abstract principles of law to the
concrete facts of the client's case in order to advise the client about
what they should do next. In many countries, only a properly licensed
lawyer may provide legal advice to clients for good consideration, even if no lawsuit is contemplated or is in progress.
Therefore, even conveyancers and corporate in-house counsel must first
get a license to practice, though they may actually spend very little
of their careers in court. Failure to obey such a rule is the crime of unauthorized practice of law.
In other countries, jurists who hold law degrees are allowed to
provide legal advice to individuals or to corporations, and it is
irrelevant if they lack a license and cannot appear in court. Some countries go further; in England and Wales, there is no general prohibition on the giving of legal advice. Sometimes civil law notaries are allowed to give legal advice, as in Belgium. In many countries, non-jurist accountants may provide what is technically legal advice in tax and accounting matters.
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