What is UPL?

UPL is the unauthorized practice of law and is a criminal offense. UPL includes giving legal advice, accepting cases or clients, setting fees, signing pleadings, appearing in a representative capacity in a court of law, holding oneself out as an attorney, or doing anything only a licensed attorney may do. Courts have generally prohibited UPL because of a perceived need to protect individuals and the public from the mistakes of the untrained and the schemes of the unscrupulous, who are not subject to the judicially imposed disciplinary standards of competence, responsibility and accountability.  See Tex. Disciplinary R. Prof. Conduct 5.05 and Canons 1, 2 and 3. See also www.txuplc.org