Legal advice

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Legal advice to Gustav von Strobeles, Bozen 1927

Legal advice is a legal service that includes advice on legal issues for private or legal persons. The activities of legal procurement and legal representation are to be distinguished from advisory activities . In addition to the advisory activities, legal services and representation also take place regularly.

New forms of legal advice are online legal advice , in which the user or client communicates exclusively or mainly via the Internet with the lawyer , or legal advice over the phone, in which the person seeking advice is immediately connected to a lawyer via a language value-added service, who can contact him directly Telephone advises; colloquial lawyer hotline .


In Germany, out-of-court legal advice is legally regulated by the Legal Services Act , which replaced the Legal Advice Act on July 1, 2008 . Unrestricted, extrajudicial, remunerated legal advice in individual cases is therefore only allowed to be provided by certain persons, namely essentially only lawyers , legal advisers , tax advisors and patent attorneys .

Anyone who provides free legal advice (legal services) outside of family, neighborly or similarly close personal relationships must ensure that the legal service is provided by a person who is permitted to provide this legal service for a fee, by a person qualified to serve as a judge or under the guidance of such a person he follows.

Various other people and groups of people can, under certain conditions, provide legal advice within their area of ​​responsibility and responsibility. Requirements can be B. be the official registration or the instruction by certain persons authorized to provide further legal advice. In particular, the official registration entails further, extensive requirements for entitlement to benefits (suitability, reliability, expertise, professional liability insurance, etc.).

The consumer advice centers, for example, are legitimized under the Legal Services Act for out-of-court legal advice (and other legal services) within the scope of their tasks and areas of responsibility. Other legal entities such as banks are usually not allowed to give legal advice.

Whether legal advice over the phone or online legal advice is permitted was initially controversial. The first providers therefore had to endure a large number of competition law proceedings until the Federal Court of Justice finally declared these forms of legal advice to be permissible.

In the military sector there are officials who are used as so-called legal advisers. They advise the military commanders on all matters and are military disciplinary attorneys on a part-time basis. You take part in foreign missions of the Bundeswehr with soldier status as legal adviser staff officers.

Almost all local courts offer free counseling hours for low-income earners.


Legal advice is not regulated by law in Switzerland. Anyone can give legal advice. Also in legal proceedings there is no compulsory lawyer, i. H. every legally competent person can and may represent their case in front of the courts. The regular remunerated representation in civil and criminal proceedings generally falls under the cantonal prosecutor monopoly .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Section 2, Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2, Clause 1 suggest the distinction between advice and representation as an example. (Status: December 12, 2008. Paragraph will be changed shortly due to unconstitutionality. The two relevant sentences: (a)  “The advisory assistance consists of counseling and, if necessary, representation.”; (B)  “In matters of criminal law and the Administrative offense law is only granted advice. ")
  2. Section 6, Paragraph 2, Clause 1 of the Legal Services Act