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Unlawful Practice of Law in Korea (Ⅰ): Status and Countermeasures of Unlawful Practice of Law Broker
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December 01, 2018


1. Introduction 1) This paper is about the research for law broker's unlawful practice and countermeasures, which is the first product of a number of years' researches for the subjects of law broker, unlawful privilege of former post, unlawful practice of sponsor, etc. 2) As for the method of researching unlawful practices, we have done the analyses of the discipline cases and the criminal cases and also the survey of lawyers and client(who have experience in appointing lawyer). 3) To suggest the countermeasure of unlawful practices, we have analyzed Anglo-American lawyer systems and Japanese lawyer system. Those studied legal system was considered in connection with the results of the survey to provide better proposals. 2. Analyses of Disciplinary and Criminal Cases 1) During the last 10 years (2002-2014), up to the 30% of the disciplinary cases, unlawful practices of law brokers, such as referral fee agreements, were involved. But, the percentage of law broker cases have been relatively decreasing. 2) Diving the category of law brokers into two types, such as the case-attracting type(of brokers who refer cases and get some fee) and the case-soluting type(of brokers who announce himself as lawyers and act like lawyers), the total percentage of case-soluting type brokers does not look that high but its influential strength have sharply increased. 3. The Survey of Lawyers and Clients 1) Comparing our survey result about lawyer's experience of law brokers with the past one, the rate of experiences to meet law brokers have largely dropped. 2) However, the clients does not state that the practices of law brokers have decreased, compared to the past time. Those who have ever appointed the lawyers of former post reply more so. 3) Although it is possible for the practices of law broker to actually decrease compared with the past time, why lay people including clients still think of the practice of law brokers so seriously is because of the low credibility of judicial system. 4. The Introduction of Anglo-American system and Japanese system for the solution of the problem in law brokers. 1) For the solution of the problem of unlawful referral practices of law brokers, two directions, such as legalizing lawyer referral system in Anglo-American countries and strengthening public concern in Japanese system, can be taken into consideration. 2) In America, the referral service system exists, in which non-laywers can be engaged in referring lawyers. Some states permit the for-profit lawyer referral service, but most of the states restrict the use of referral fee to the public concern. 3) In American, on-line lawyer referral services have been proliferating. But, American Bar Association have not provided the Rules for on-line lawyer referral service. On-line lawyer service has challenged the traditional regulation based on public concern. 4) Japan has developed the system in which legal aids can be provided to many clients from the investigative process by the lawyers who are appointed by courts and make an agreement with special public corporation. For that reason, the rate of court-appointed lawyers is overwhelming. Also, there exists a duty lawyer system in Japan. Clients can almost perfectly enjoy court-appointed lawyers service though prosecuting and trial processes. 5) In Japan, court-appointed lawyers is not controlled by courts but the third party entity called 'law terrace'. Therefore, throughout the entire criminal process, court-appointed lawyers can provide their services so fairly. The unlawful practice of law, such as unlawful privilege of former post and law broker, can be effectively prevented. 5. The Proposal of Countermesures 1) To cope with the increase of the rate of case-soluting type brokers, the unpunished gap of violation of trade van should be filled out. Especially, the countermeasure regarding the practice of name lending of lawyers and the regulation for a advisor in lawyers office and retired officers are necessary. 2) By relaxing the regulation of advertising lawyers and supporting lawyer referral system, informations of lawyers should be more widely distributed. To realize it, Anglo-American system can be partly introduced. The system of On-line referral, such as recently appearing lawyer service Apps, is now possibly violative of the current Laywer Act in Korea and so is to be partly legalized. 3) One of the methods to block unlawful practices of law broker and former post is to introduce and strengthen the public system of lawyers based on the reality of Korea, but by consulting Japanese criminal public lawyer system. To do it, the current Korean laws regarding it should be reformed. 4) We should try to enhance the people's credibility of judicial system, by fulfilling uprightness of judical officials and promoting it. It is because Korean people still does not easily believe in judical system although the there has been much improvement compared to the past time.

Jitae Hwang

Crime Trends&Analysis

Senior Research Fellow

Jitae Hwang's picture

Research Interest (Major)

Criminal Statistics, Criminal Sociology

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Jeongyeon Kim

Criminal Justice Reform, Criminal Law&Policy

Research Fellow

Jeongyeon Kim's picture

Research Interest (Major)


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