Law Stack Exchange does not allow questions that ask for, or answers that provide, specific legal advice. What is the purpose of a legal question-and-answer site that does not allow legal advice?

  • 5
    I’m voting to close this question because it is not a question, but a complaint about the site
    – alexg
    Jan 27 at 17:20
  • 1
    Hi, welcome to the site. Discussion about the site itself belongs on Meta.
    – Pat W. Mod
    Jan 27 at 17:50
  • 8
    It sounds like you’re pretty disappointed that you didn’t get to buy a thousand dollar scope for eight bucks. Can I suggest that perhaps that was not actually an injustice, and that getting all shirty with everyone who tells you so is not going to help you get over said disappointment?
    – Sneftel
    Jan 27 at 17:53
  • 2
    You may wish to try r/legaladvice, which does not share this site's aversion to dispensing legal advice.
    – bdb484
    Jan 27 at 19:31
  • 4
    If you already know you are right, what do you need this site for anyway?
    – nvoigt
    Jan 27 at 20:55
  • @bdb484: I have heard several critiques of r/legaladvice (supposedly they have a habit of giving out bad advice). I must say that I find it hard to believe that any licensed attorney is going to hang out there and possibly accidentally create an attorney-client relationship, even with their rather flimsy "informational purposes only" disclaimer.
    – Kevin
    Feb 2 at 8:13
  • I think that risk is wildly overestimated. Licensed attorneys certainly hang out both here and there, just as legal hobbyists hang out both here and there, resulting in both good and bad advice both here and there.
    – bdb484
    Feb 3 at 20:25
  • 1
    Certainly anyone asking questions in either forum should not rely on the answers they get being any more valuable than what they paid for them.
    – bdb484
    Feb 3 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


The purpose of this site is to answer questions about what the law says, not how it applies to individual circumstances. Hypothetical scenarios, or, in some cases, real situations, can be used as examples, but if a question asks how the law applies to a particular scenario in which you are involved, it is generally off-topic. This serves two purposes: to protect askers from bad advice, and to protect answerers from liability.

First, we do not allow specific legal advice to protect the interests of those asking questions. Most of us are not lawyers, so we do not necessarily have enough legal knowledge to give reliable advice. Even those of us who are attorneys are not your lawyer; they do not know enough about your situation to give good advice. You would be putting yourself at risk of legal issues if someone here gave you specific advice and you followed it; our policy is intended to protect you from that.

Also, we prohibit legal advice to protect answerers from liability. While it is unlikely, it is not entirely impossible that giving legal advice on this site could be considered practice of law; this could expose answerers who are not lawyers to liability for for unlicensed practice of law (UPL).

You are welcome to ask questions about laws that are relevant to you, however, as long as you do not ask for specific advice. "I did XYZ. Did I violate law ABC?" is off-topic, whereas "What does this clause in law ABC prohibit?" is acceptable, even if you intend to use the answer to help determine whether your actions violated that law. You still should not rely on what users here write; however, we will often give references to sources that are authoritative, such as statutes and court rulings.

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