This question is not about the law itself, but about interacting with lawyers in a way to minimize the legal bill. Are questions like that something that we want to consider on-topic here? I don't think they should be; they're not directly about the law (the topic of this site), and while someone with legal issues needs to deal with lawyers, minimizing the bill doesn't really have anything to do with any legal aspects of the situation.

Something like "what happens if a client runs out of money mid-case" actually has legal aspects (because there are ethical obligations on lawyers, which have to do directly with the law). But "how do I minimize billable hours" would apply just as well to a management consultant.

  • I think they might be on topic as part of this question.
    – user4
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


The specific question you cited is a list question, and usually SE sites consider list questions like that to be too broad.

That being said, Dealing with lawers is close enough to "law" that it probably should be on topic, and frankly, I don't like the notion that advice should be considered off topic either.

When people most need information about the law, is when they think that they might need an attorney, and questions about how to go about getting an attorney and doing business with the attorney are actually one of the reasons why I followed this site in Area51.

Sure, we need to be extra careful that we post correct answers in these cases, but I see no reason why we can't allow this.

  • We always need to be extra careful not to post incorrect answers, just as with security-related questions on StackOverflow. I agree with you that questions about dealing with lawyers are very much on topic. I'd like to have a few standard "How can I get legal advice in X situation" questions to link to. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 17:46

There's a line to be drawn:

  • questions asking about the nature of legal representation should be allowed; e.g. 'Can a solicitor retain a client where there is a conflict of interest?' (this would also include your 'what happens if...' question)

  • but questions seeking advice about legal representation should never be on topic.

Perhaps that should be a special case of a general rule against seeking advice here.

  • Can you explain why you think questions about legal representation should not be on topic?
    – feetwet Mod
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 13:21
  • 1
    Because I don't think that we should be offering advice of any kind -- not because of any liability angle, but because that's not why this site exists.
    – Flup
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 15:02
  • I'd be interested to know why this was downvoted.
    – Flup
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 15:27
  • 3
    I suspect downvoters aren't understanding your point, which is just that we shouldn't give legal advice here. I generally agree with you, with one big caveat: we should do what we can to help ordinary people get appropriate legal advice (i.e. find a lawyer) and understand what to expect from an attorney-client relationship. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 17:48

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