On paragraph 3 of this page, it says:

"Please don't ask questions seeking legal advice on a specific matter. These are off-topic for Law Stack Exchange."

What does this rule imply about how to phrase my question about the law in a learning forum such as this one?

2 Answers 2


Make the question about the law rather than about individuals

For example:

I shot a guy, am I guilty of murder?

is clearly seeking legal advice. However:

What is the definition of murder in [some jurisdiction]?

is a question about the law which may answer the first question but it is not legal advice.


Short Answer

Make it hypothetical.


To ask a hypothetical question, use these helpful tips:

  • State it. "This is a hypothetical." "Hypothetical example." "Hypothetical facts." Or just simply: "Hypothetical:"
  • Replace first person pronoun references like "I" and "we" with either

    • Third person pronouns like "he", "she", "it" and "they" ...or (even better)
    • Metasyntactic variables like "A", "B", "C", etc.
  • Delete any references to any specific case or case number, etc.

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