jailhouse lawyer

a prisoner who has taught himself or herself law while serving time, is knowledgeable about technical legal matters, and gives legal advice, especially to fellow prisoners.

1965–70; Americanism

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Example sentences
It now appears that the motion was prepared by a jailhouse lawyer to whom defendant had complained about his attorney.
Tells about his time in prison as a model prisoner and a jailhouse lawyer.
Though he doesn't have a law degree, he earned a reputation there as a jailhouse lawyer.
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