It has been debated on this site what does and doesn't constitute "legal advice", most users work off of the argument that answers on LSE are not legally considered "Legal advice".

Iñaki Viggers:

Legal advice that is not given "as a business" and where its author does not falsely purport to be licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction at issue is not illegal.

Although it's legal to answer questions on this site without the fear of being sued, it's hard to deny how uncomfortable it can be to answer questions that include:

"Do I have grounds to sue"

"My family member is sitting in jail, what should I do"

"I'm in a bad situation with the law, what should I do"

"Am I liable for (Y), if I did (X)"

There's a really good case for not answering this type of question, for fear that the person might actually take the answers at face value, and act on them without doing more research. It would be understandable if personal questions were a fringe subsection of questions, but they seem to make up a majority of the questions.

LSE already has a feature that applies to the title, which won't let you post if the question is "too subjective", should this feature be applied to the body of the question?

  • 1
    Related (possible duplicate): Is asking 'what are my legal options' on topic? Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 14:38
  • The underlying question isn't "is this off-topic", but should a feature be applied. Please read the last paragraph. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 14:54
  • Well, the question is, how can it reliably detect the issue? Are there patterns that will detect this 99.9% correctly? Otherwise, someone writing "Am I right in assuming that [...]" will also be blocked without any relation to personal legal advice.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 15:32
  • If the question is not off-topic (as your first and fourth are not according to the question I linked) the answer is trivially No. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 16:51
  • @TimLymington I have no idea what "as your first and fourth are not according to the question I linked" means. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 17:09
  • @AndrewT. That's fair to say, reliability is important, but the site already does this for the title of a question, so would it be a stretch to apply it to the body? I mean the feature is already in use. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 17:15
  • 1
    Unless there's a specific title filter on Law.SE which I failed to find on the meta, I think you're talking about this general subjective words regex filter? How can it be applied to the body?
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


Doing a first-person filter in the body might be possible for a feature, and it's an interesting idea.

That said, it might not consistently yield the desired results. Most people would consider hypotheticals to be on topic, in part because they are typically broad enough to appeal to wider audiences. Yet phrasing sufficiently clear hypotheticals in the first person isn't an automatic problem.

I suspect community moderation will have to do the job until someone unleashes a learning algorithm on our deleted questions or something.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .