- Lawyers are required to have a college degree and a law degree. There are no legal education requirements for nonlawyers.
- Lawyers are required to pass a stringent admittance examination to determine their competency, as well as a thorough character and fitness investigation, before being admitted to practice law. There are no such requirements for nonlawyers.
- Lawyers are required to maintain current legal education and take ethics courses periodically. There is no continuing education requirement for nonlawyers.
- Lawyers are subject to comprehensive and tough ethical rules. There are no written ethical standards for nonlawyers.
- Lawyers who are accused of misbehavior are investigated by The Florida Bar, and such an investigation can lead to the loss of a license to practice law. Nonlawyers are not professionally accountable to any authority, although they can be investigated and prosecuted for engaging in the unlicensed practice of law.
- Lawyers are required to maintain client confidences. Nonlawyers have no such requirement and could tell your secrets to anyone, even the other side.
- Lawyers as a profession maintain a Clients’ Security Fund, which is intended to reimburse clients for some of their losses if a lawyer misappropriates trust funds. There is no such program for nonlawyers. A nonlawyer who steals from you or does not provide the services that were promised cannot be forced to give you your money back.
Florida’s “Truth-in-Millage” (TRIM) Act was designed to inform property owners which governmental entity is responsible for the taxes levied against their property and the amount