jailhouse lawyer

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jailhouse lawyer

n. Slang
A prison or jail inmate who is self-taught about the law and offers information to other inmates, especially to assist them in cases in which they are defending themselves.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

jail′house law′yer


n.
a prisoner who has become knowledgeable about legal matters and gives legal advice to fellow inmates.
[1965–70]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(109) Additionally, there is the jailhouse attorney, a fellow inmate who commonly provides legal assistance to other inmates as they work through the post-conviction process.
A jailhouse attorney could certainly provide some procedural and basic legal information for post-conviction petitioners seeking review of their conviction by a higher court.
Although other opportunities for legal advice are available--such as jailhouse attorneys, pro bono clinics, and information packets--they generally fail to provide enough assistance for pro se petitioners to meaningfully seek collateral review.