Can You Represent Someone in Court If You Aren’t a Lawyer NY?

In the New York State as well as throughout the USA, there is a monopoly on legal activity. The only person with appropriate education, training, and the experience can represent someone in court.

In addition, not every lawyer can represent the interests of others in court. Only an attorney licensed by a state agency of one of the states is allowed to practice law in the court. To become one (get approved to practice law in court), a lawyer needs to get an education at the ABA-Approved Law School (American Bar Association), pass bar exam that is conducted in the specific legal area a lawyer wish to practice, and if this is required by state law, constantly receive advanced training.

If a lawyer, who hasn’t been approved  to practice law in court, will still represent someone’s interests in court, then he or she will be accused of “illegal work in the legal profession.”

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Can You Represent Someone in Court If You Aren’t a Lawyer NY: The answer

According to New York State Law (pretty much the same situation is in most of the states in the US), only attorneys can represent someone’s interests in the court; or you can represent yourself. Thus, the circle of persons who can be legal representatives in a proceeding is quite narrow.


No law school graduate can engage in advocacy and even give advice if the one does not get access to the profession (a license for the right to engage in advocacy and legal activities). Even full-time employees of non-legal companies are required to have it. If a corporate lawyer gives advice without a license, this lawyer will face a large fine and loss of reputation. To gain access to the profession, you must pass the exam and become a member of the bar association. The association issues licenses and deprives licenses, develops a code of professional ethics of lawyers, which indicates what lawyer can be held accountable.

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Can You Represent Someone in Court If You Aren’t a Lawyer NY: Additional Information

The license does not give the right to represent the interests of the client throughout the United States – only in the state in which it was issued. Since the United States is a confederation, laws may be different in different states: for example, in one state possession of the weapons is allowed, in the other state, it is forbidden. In order to represent the interests of your client in another state, you need to pass an exam there or involve a lawyer having the license in that state. Otherwise, the lawyer can only be present in court in the role of a consultant. He can not act in court on behalf of the client.


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In some cases, a person cannot even file a complaint or initiate a process without a lawyer. It is believed that the writing of the claim is a specific work, and it must be done by a competent specialist. When persons write a claim on their own, they may describe the whole life in it, and not indicate legally significant circumstances and references to the rule of law. This prevents the judge from immediately finding out: what right has been violated, what kind of protection the person wants. Such an approach to filing a lawsuit makes the lawsuit more expensive and forces citizens to seek non-judicial ways to resolve conflicts.



Can You Represent Someone in Court If You Aren’t a Lawyer NY: Conclusion

To sum it up, the only legally allowed representatives of you in the court are you and an authorized attorney.

The lawyers at the Law Office of Yelena Sharova are approved to practice law in New York State and ready to assist you with the professional legal help.

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Solving problems requires being accessible. Our clients are in constant communication with their dedicated attorney. We also provide clients constant access to their case records and documents through a secure online portal. We believe that ordinary people should be able to afford competent legal services. Our rates are very reasonable compared to similarly situated attorneys.

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