lawyer up

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lawyer up (third-person singular simple present lawyers up, present participle lawyering up, simple past and past participle lawyered up)

  1. (intransitive, chiefly US, informal) To exercise one's right to legal representation; to engage the services of a lawyer.
    • 2001 July 15, Amanda Ripley, “Rage Of The Hamptons”, in Time[1], archived from the original on 2012-03-29:
      By the time patrol cars got to the friend's house, so had her lawyer. With her attorney running blocker, police could not even ascertain if Grubman had been driving the car, says Suffolk County district attorney James Catterson. "She was lawyered up, as we like to say."
    • 2022 April 5, Elizabeth Wetmore, “How Far Will Parents Go to Protect Their Sons?”, in The New York Times[2]:
      In the summer of 2019, when the boys are involved in the death of the young woman at that swimming hole, the parents of Barton Hills do what any caregivers might do, if they are rich or rich-adjacent. They lawyer up, and when this strategy fails to provide a sufficient shield between their boys and whatever they may or may not have been party to, the families up their game.
  2. (intransitive, chiefly US, informal, business) To conduct matters in accord with legal formalities or so as to avoid legal risk.
    Whenever we do business with those guys, we lawyer up to protect ourselves.
    • 2010, Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network, spoken by Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield):
      And I'll bet what you hated the most was that they identified me as a co-founder of Facebook, which I am. You better lawyer up asshole, because I'm not coming back for 30%, I'm coming back for EVERYTHING.
  3. (transitive, informal, business) To arrange in a way reflecting legal advice.
    By the time we finished lawyering up the agreement, we didn't want to sign it.