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While a 16 year old may engage a lawyer for whatever purposes he/she and the lawyer see fit, the lawyer may be hesitant to do so. The reason for this is that a 16 year old does not have the legal authority to enter into a binding contract. As such, the lawyer may not be willing to enter into a legal agreement where there is no binding contract. Also, the 16 year old cannot actually bring suit in court without parental consent. That's not to say the lawyer couldn't do work for the 16 year old, but they just couldn't actually file suit.