Refereed article in compilation book (A3)

Lawyers Providing Legal Aid in Print: Legal Question and Answer Columns in Finnish Newspapers Around 1900

List of Authors: Korpiola Mia

Place: Cham

Publication year: 2021

Book title *: Histories of Legal Aid: A Comparative and International Perspective

Title of series: World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence

ISBN: 978-3-030-80270-7

eISBN: 978-3-030-80271-4

ISSN: 2730-9630



Self-archived copy’s web address:


This chapter analyses legal question and answer columns in Finnish newspapers during the period 1890–1910. Such columns are a largely neglected part of popular legal aid. This chapter investigates the development of such columns from the perspective of newspapers, inquirers, and experts. Legal reforms between 1860 and 1910 changed Finnish law greatly and expanded step by step the duties of communes in local government. This meant that many new individuals were elected and nominated as representatives in local administrative organs, creating a pent-up need for legal advice and learning. Simultaneously, Finnish, the language of a huge majority of the population, became an official administrative and judicial language. Finnish-language newspapers were established, attempting to interact with readers and educate them. Legal question and answer columns in newspapers began spontaneously with random questions from the public, answered by newspaper editors or referred to experts. Quickly, some newspapers created regular columns. These provided readers around the country access to inexpensive legal expertise and the possibility of consulting distant experts. Such columns not only advised and aided individual inquirers but also disseminated legal knowledge far beyond to a new nation.

Last updated on 2022-07-04 at 16:21