Q: What does it mean to be a lawyer? (Literally.)
A: It basically means you can represent another person in court.
Under Korean civil law, however, there are a few instances where even non-lawyers can represent another person in court:
1) A “manager,” “administrator of a ship,” or “shipmaster” under the Commercial Act (상법).
2) The Minister of Justice. A government employee appointed by the head of a Prosecutors’ Office or a government office.
3) In small claims court: A close relative or family member. One’s employee whose regular work is related to the case at hand.
* For #3, permission (from the court) is required.
* And of course, one can always represent oneself.
What else does it mean to be a lawyer? In Korea, only lawyers can give out legal advice in exchange for money or profit.
That said, I don’t think lawyers necessarily know the law better than others. Speaking for myself, I just know where to look or search for information a little better maybe. Also, sometimes I can tell (instinctively) if something doesn’t sound quite right.
Thanks for reading!