Although the State Bar of California's primary role is to license, regulate and discipline attorneys, the agency also plays a role in investigating those who falsely give legal advice and people posing as attorneys.
This includes legal consultants who advise clients about immigration and taxes. If consumers consult immigration consultants who describe themselves as notarios, for example, the law allows them to translate and explain documents to clients. Immigration consultants can’t represent them in court, however, or provide specific legal advice. If they do, they could be prosecuted for the unauthorized practice of law (UPL).
If an attorney practices law while their licensed is suspended under suspension or after they are disbarred, it is also considered the unauthorized practice of law.
If you feel that you have been the target of someone who is unlicensed, you can file an unauthorized practice of law complaint with the State Bar against a non-attorney.
There is no charge to file a complaint. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen and the State Bar will not ask about your citizenship or immigration status.