Unauthorized Practice of Law

The unauthorized practice of law is prohibited in Missouri (Missouri Revised Statutes 484.020).

Immel Law librarians and staff cannot provide legal advice. They can not explain or interpret the content of legal sources. They will clarify the mechanics of using the materials, including how to locate information using subjects, indexes, and tables of contents.

Law librarians and staff CAN assist patrons with:

  1. Helping to identify and locate clearly stated legal sources.
  2. Locating facts such as information found in directories.
  3. Demonstrating how to use legal sources.
  4. Demonstrating how to locate attorneys.
  5. Providing a list of free or low cost legal services available to the public.

Law librarians and staff CANNOT assist patrons with:

  1. Interpreting the law or legal documents.
  2. Telling patrons what laws or forms are applicable to a legal issue.
  3. Giving an explanation of court procedures or how to file a legal claim.
  4. Recommending attorneys or firms.
  5. Giving advice, as it would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

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