Tahir Malik, a 47-year-old man from Skokie, Illinois, "walked around the courtroom like he was a hotshot, strutting around," said one of his clients.
He tried more than 60 cases, charging between $500 and $4,500 to his clients. He worked on traffic court cases, mortgage foreclosures, and some low-level criminal cases.
One problem: Malik never spent a day in law school. Instead, it appears that he learned his lawyering skills from his own criminal background.
"From his own arrest history, he was familiar enough with the court system to make certain motions and file certain documents in the court," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "There is no question that dozens of people from all over Cook County were misled by this guy."
The Tribune reports that Malik's father Rahim says that he likely also picked up some of his legal knowledge from watching television.
Apparently, he was finally busted on December 17, when personnel at the Cook County Courthouse found some of his behavior suspicious and questioned his credentials. They found that he had none.
Malik faces two counts of false impersonation of a lawyer, as WGN reports. He will appear in court on January 28 -- no word yet on whether he will be representing himself.