attorney client privilege

Attorney-Client Privilege and How It Works

Attorney-client privilege is an essential part of speaking with a lawyer. In simple terms, this privilege means that anything you say to an attorney cannot be revealed by the lawyer without your permission. The purpose is to allow you as the client to speak freely with your attorney without fear of the information provided being disclosed to anyone.

An attorney cannot be forced by anyone, including a judge or law enforcement agent, into disclosing privileged information. A lawyer could not do their job without this privilege, and a client would not be able to obtain adequate legal representation without this assurance.

The attorney-client privilege comes into play in each of the following types of legal representation.


Criminal law is the one area that most people think about when it comes to attorney-client privilege. You can admit to any fact relating to the charges against you, and your attorney is forbidden from revealing those admissions. This allows you to be honest with your criminal lawyer in Philadelphia so they can properly represent you in court. Without this privilege, an attorney could not adequately represent a criminal client.


Any type of family case such as divorce, custody, alimony, adoption, or child support involves making statements to your lawyer about personal matters. The privilege keeps those statements private. They may or may not come out in court later but will only do so if you testify and have to make them public. Your lawyer will never tell.


You may not want family members to know what you are putting in your will. The privilege protects that interest. A will does not take effect until death, so if you are alive and competent, you can change your will. Your attorney will never divulge your intentions, even after your death.


If you are interested in purchasing some land, but do not want the seller or anyone else knowing about it, you can hire an attorney who can research the property and ask questions. The lawyer can obtain whatever information you seek without disclosing your information. No one will know that you are the party interested in purchasing a certain tract of land, home, or commercial property.

Attorney-client privilege is of great benefit to you as the client. Without this concept, a lawyer could not do their job.