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a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client

A man who tries to defend himself, rather than hiring a trained lawyer, is a fool. A: "What do you mean, a lawyer? I'm going to represent myself!" B: "Well, just keep in mind that a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client."
See also: fool, lawyer, man, own, who

guardhouse lawyer

One who acts knowledgeable about something one actually knows little about. Stop being a guardhouse lawyer and giving me advice on how to get a job when you've been unemployed for months too!
See also: lawyer

wear (one's particular profession's) hat

To act as one would in one's particular profession while in a different setting. Bobby, I know you're off duty, but can you please wear your doctor's hat for five minutes and tell me what's wrong with my arm? I don't want to have to go to the hospital. My wife was still wearing her judge's hat when she tried to intervene with our neighbor's arguing kids.
See also: hat, particular, wear

Philadelphia lawyer

A shrewd attorney, adept at dealing with legal technicalities, as in It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to get him off. This expression dates from the late 1700s and, as lexicographer Richard H. Thornton observed: "Why members of the Philadelphia bar should be credited with superhuman sagacity has never been satisfactorily explained."
See also: lawyer

jailhouse lawyer

A non-attorney who dispenses legal advice. Properly speaking, a jailhouse lawyer is a prison inmate who, although not a law school graduate (much less a member of the bar), has the requisite skill to assist other prisoners with such legal matters as preparing and filing appeals, writs, and pardon requests. Much of such knowledge came from personal experience. The phrase also applies to any layman, behind bars or not, who offers legal advice, solicited or not.
See also: lawyer

Philadelphia lawyer

An adept attorney. The most probable reason why the City of Brotherly Love became an adjective for astute and skillful lawyers was Andrew Hamilton, whose 1735 defense of printer John Peter Zenger was a milestone of freedom of the press in America. (Lawyer Andrew should not be confused with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.) Although the Zenger trial was held in New York City, Hamilton was from Philadelphia. Curiously, it took some fifty years for the phrase to appear in print.
See also: lawyer
References in periodicals archive ?
59) In essence, the client-centered model prescribes lawyerly conduct so that the lawyer truly remains the agent of the client/principal.
But if "the legal tribe's habit of hiding lawyerly thoughts and actions behind clouds of legal slang .
Mike Harris' lawyer Peter Downard attacked Falconer's submissions as "sophistry" and "a lawyerly strained attempt to find what is desired to be found.
Herman outlines with lawyerly precision anomalies in Paradise Lost earlier critics have blurred, and he offers a convincing explanation of how Milton's "epic similes .
The houses look as alike as sparrows on a wire, a bundle of lawyerly rules discourages anyone from doing anything even remotely quirky, and each weekday morning finds a river of pointlessly huge SUVs streaming out toward work in Seattle.
This horrible violation came to the attention of the State Bar of Michigan, which promptly filed suit, asking for not only an injunction against the man to forbid him from ever again trespassing on lawyerly turf, but also for monetary damages to cover the cost of the suit against him.
In interviews prior to the arrest, Nishimura admitted to entrusting Suzuki with the lawyerly duties, saying, ''I cannot deny lending my name.
Inside the Style section, meanwhile, tart-tongued TV columnist Lisa de Moraes poked fun at the sideways sagacity of the lawyerly cable pundits, most of whom predicted the King of Perp would be found guilty of at least some of the charges.
We suspected that defense counsel, ever mindful of looking the lawyerly part (even though counsel is off camera), would be dressed inappropriately for standing on a sidewalk on a frigid winter day.
Sure, most people enjoy vilifying the lawyerly trade, but I prefer that to a world in which, say, people shoot each other to get even.
Yet as Michael Quinlan comments, 'the more salient the "blame" theme is made within an inquiry, the stronger the pressures become for careful lawyerly process, with all its costs in time and money'.
In a field distinguished mostly by the clotted prose and lawyerly analysis of think tank denizens looking to secure their next political appointment, Rieff has been a welcome exception.
Public knowledge, lawyerly knowledge and even judicial knowledge of the law and application of privilege are abysmally low.
I soon learned that John was not just an ivory-tower academic; he also enjoyed one of the greatest lawyerly careers of our time: from his days as a law student researching Abe Fortas's brief in Gideon v.
We think it refers to attorneys having some distinctive knowledge or specialized skill needful for the litigation in question--as opposed to an extraordinary level of the general lawyerly knowledge and ability useful in all litigation.