Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL)

The practice of law is a privilege granted by the Illinois Supreme Court to those individuals who have undergone extensive legal education, passed an examination, undertake mandatory continuing education, and bind themselves to a strict code of professional conduct for the benefit of their clients and the courts. The privilege exists out of an ideal to serve others and to protect the public and the administration of justice. To give further meaning to the privilege, the ISBA is committed to combatting the unauthorized practice of law (“UPL”) in the interest of the public, the membership, and the entire Illinois legal profession.

The ISBA has a longstanding tradition of reviewing complaints made against nonlawyers for providing legal services and, where appropriate, has prosecuted instances of UPL on its own or referred UPL matters to other entities with the authority to investigate and prosecute it. As a not-for-profit voluntary association of lawyers, the ISBA does not seek monetary relief for individuals or seek sanctions under the criminal statutes prohibiting UPL.  

Request for Investigation of UPL

If you believe you have been the victim of UPL or would otherwise like to alert the ISBA about persons engaged in UPL, please complete the Request for Investigation of Unauthorized Practice of Law form. When received and reviewed, the ISBA’s UPL Task Force will take whatever action it believes is warranted or necessary. Typically, the Task Force will communicate with the person alleged to be engaging in UPL and determine if in fact UPL is occurring. If it is, the Task Force will seek to end the inappropriate conduct or refer the matter to other prosecutorial entities. If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the ISBA may initiate formal legal action. Your Request for Investigation may be anonymous, but that may hamper any Task Force investigation. You will be notified of the Task Force’s actions.

Request UPL Investigation

If you have any questions please contact us at:

Illinois State Bar Association
Attention: Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law
Illinois Bar Center
424 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1779
(800) 252-8908 or (217) 525-1760
Fax: (217) 525-9063

UPL News

UPL Resources and Links

ISBA Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law

ISBA and the Unauthorized Practice of Law – What The Public Needs To Know.

Effective December 7, 2012, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission is authorized to prosecute UPL. 

Often times, the unauthorized practice of law can violate the Consumer Fraud Act.  The Illinois Attorney General prosecutes those claims.

Immigration related UPL, particularly the activities of notario publico's, is often investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (as well as the Illinois Attorney General's Office).  For information about immigration related UPL: www.uscis.gov/avoidscams or www.ftc.gov/immigration.