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The Practice of Law by Laymen and Lay Agencies (with Elliott R. Katz), 41 Yale Law Journal 69 (1931)


ADMISSION to the bar is by law restricted to natural persons of good moral character, who have passed an examination attesting to their educational qualifications and skill, and who have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state and the honor of their profession. The practice of law by unlicensed persons is punishable either by fine or imprisonment, or both, either on statutory authority, or in the absence of a specific legislative prohibition, by reason of the court's inherent power. "Having power to determine who shall and who shall not practice law in this state," said Mr. Justice Orr, "it necessarily follows that this court has the power to enforce its rules and decisions against offenders, even though they have never been licensed by this court." Laymen and lay agencies cannot lawfully collect fees for performing legal services, and legal proceedings instituted by them may be decreed a nullity.

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