I asked this question and in its original form it was closed as off topic on the grounds that it asked for specific legal advice

I was surprised given there are many questions which seem worse to me that are perfectly acceptable here (at least on the basis they have some upvotes rather than being closed).

Originally my question followed the pattern of a lot of other questions here. I posted an example of clauses of a contract I had seen and asked how to interpret them and whether an additional clause would be necessary to change that interpretation.

My (mis)understanding of the flaw was is I used a specific example I had seen. I thought that odd as plenty of other questions here do that. I thought I rephrased it to be not specifically about my situation (which actually does not involve the specific contract example I gave anyway as I turned down that job for other reasons).

To my mind answering the question is a matter of understanding how these sorts of contract work or interpreting the law and not providing legal advice which would have to be on a case by case basis. I don't see how answering it would be "giving legal advice without a license"

I reworked the question but it was not enough to get it reopened. So I tried rewriting it completely as protecting employees rights to work on unrelated side projects in their free time

This is also closed. Apparently neither question has removed the flaw. Clearly I do not understand what it really is. Can someone explain?

Is there any safe way to ask the question(s) I am obviously trying to ask which would not suffer the same fate?


2 Answers 2


Why is this question off topic?

It is not. You just had the bad luck that enough users presume that your post is a request for legal advice, and they voted to close it before someone else (oftentimes I) could post an answer. I know that a few users will have decided to downvote this answer before they finish reading this paragraph, but first and foremost I am addressing you.

If anything, LawSE would be more appropriate than WorkplaceSE for your posts. Had you posted on WorkplaceSE or any other SE site, it would be moved to LawSE for the obvious reason that this site is the one about legal principles.

When an OP writes using 1st-person, some users dogmatically treat the post as "request for legal advice". Some have even edited posts just to change to 3rd-person what an OP wrote using 1st-person. Neither approach is necessary or even useful, especially in cases like yours where the OP explicitly states his awareness that any answers that ensue do not constitute legal advice.

Altogether both of your posts are fine. I for one did not answer them because of the UK tag, and I do not consider myself very knowledgeable in UK legal systems. After reading your posts, now I realize that in fact I could address your inquiry.

  • Even though it is downvoted I judge this answer as correct as the community (or a mod) has decided to reopen one of my questions. Nov 23, 2022 at 21:04

Asking what to do is asking for Legal Advice.

Legal Advice is automatically off Topic. As such, it was closed. Don't ask "What shall I do" questions, they trigger all the tripwires just by posing those 4 words.

How do I ask a general law question?

  • Make the question about the law rather than about individuals.
  • Make it hypothetical.

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  • You can argue that for my original question but how is it the case for its replacement? Nov 12, 2022 at 15:23

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