The difference between legal information and legal advice
Updated: 7 December 2019
So you've probably seen a few disclaimers that read like this 'legal information, not a substitute for legal advice'. We use a disclaimer like this ourselves on our website including our downloads.
I'll explain the difference because its important to know.
Legal information is generic. It explains a process, a definition or provides a framework for how something should work.
Non-lawyers may also provide information.
So, if you are a startup searching the internet for useful resources to use (like this very article or even template downloads) - that's information.
Information is NOT tailored to your situation, it's generic.
Now, on the other hand, legal advice is tailored and typically given by a qualified lawyer.
Legal advice can be written, verbal or a combination.
To qualify as advice, the lawyer needs to know your situation, the problem, query or your ideal outcome. And, with this knowledge, a lawyer will give you legal advice or tailor a document based on your situation.
Below are some examples.
Legal information examples
Legal information may include:
- article, blog post or fact sheet;
- template legal agreement (that a lawyer is not updating after your download), you simply download and use 'off-the-shelf'; and
- it’s always generic and may not be applicable to your situation.
Legal advice examples
Below are some examples of legal advice:
- you consult with a lawyer and you explain your situation and your lawyer advises you; or
- a lawyer prepares legal agreements based on your instructions and their advice to you; and
- it’s always specific to your situation.
I wish you every success in your ventures!