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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, astute, and very skilled attorney. I don't mind paying taxes every year, but I wish it didn't take a Philadelphia lawyer just to understand how to fill in your return!
See also: lawyer

jailhouse lawyer

Someone who has not formally studied law but knows enough about it to be able to help others with legal issues (as a prison inmate experienced in dealing with the law might). Despite the name, this phrase can be used in settings other than jail or prison. Talk to Sal before your court appearance—he's a real jailhouse lawyer.
See also: lawyer

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

Philadelphia lawyer

An extremely shrewd attorney. This term dates from the eighteenth century. In 1734 John Peter Zenger, a printer, was charged with libel for printing an exposure of a corrupt New York governor, William Cosby. Zenger did not write the article, but his print shop could be attached for damages, whereas the writer was poor. Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia came out of retirement to defend the action, and to everyone’s surprise, his eloquent argument for freedom of the press not only won Zenger acquittal but established a precedent in American law, that a true statement was not libel. As the story proliferated, however, Hamilton was made out to be a legal trickster who collected a large fee (even though he had argued honestly and charged no fee at all), whence the current definition of a Philadelphia lawyer. The Salem Observer of March 13, 1824, stated, “The New England folks have a saying, that three Philadelphia lawyers are a match for the very devil himself.”
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 ?
Nathan Zuckerman's] stern, rigorously thought out morality, his lawyerly intensity flood the page.
But the courts are likely to face new versions of the opinion "marketplace" and new pressures to impose lawyerly order on the cacaphony.
It means "now for then" in English, but looks lawyerly in Latin.
The Professor, being a New York Court of Appeals Judges, carries a courtroom demeanor into the classroom, which "imbues" the class with a professional and lawyerly atmosphere.
But if "the legal tribe's habit of hiding lawyerly thoughts and actions behind clouds of legal slang .
Relentlessly politically-incorrect, it impressed by its sheer lawyerly reasoning and refreshing polemic skill.
Preemption reflects a lawyerly overconfidence in the power of the law, a view unfortunately shared by the U.
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.
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.
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.
Those who reach this lawyerly apex are, almost to a man--and they are nearly all (white) men--those whose resume includes either a top-tier law school, work experience in the solicitor general's office, or a stint as a Supreme Court clerk.
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.