Court Clerks are not allowed to give legal advice. Anyone in need of legal advice must contact any attorney. Defendants, victims, attorneys, the news media, and other court users often ask clerks as to how the court works. The Clerk has an important role in explaining procedures, but must be careful not to give legal advice. Giving legal advice is prohibited as the unauthorized practice of law and may subject the Clerk to criminal charges or liability. The Clerk is only allowed to explain court procedures and advise patrons of their options.