If someone gives legal advice without a license, that’s called the unauthorized practice of law (UPL.) In California, only attorneys can give legal advice. If an attorney loses their license to practice, but continues to take and advise clients, that’s also considered the unauthorized practice of law.
There is no charge to file a complaint. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to file a complaint. The State Bar does not ask for or track immigration or citizenship status.
The State Bar offers unauthorized practice of law complaint forms in multiple languages.
For questions, call the State Bar’s multilingual complaint hotline at 800-843-9053.
The State Bar works with other law enforcement agencies to investigate when someone violates the law. Here are some situations where you may want to file a complaint: