What if you, and dozens of people like you, were ripped off for $1k - $2k by a small fraudulent corporation, and you have solid evidence to prove it? Lawyers typically charge at least $3k to go to trial, so they'll tell you that you have a good case, but that it doesn't make financial sense for them to represent you. Most lawyers (understandably) won't consider a class action lawsuit unless there are $ hundreds of thousands at stake and a high chance of winning.
But if you try to bring your good case to court without a lawyer against a company that has a lawyer, you have very low odds of winning, even if you are legally savvy. If you were going to be required to pay the other side's legal fees if you lose, you'd be crazy to even try. With a "loser pays winner's costs" system, the fraudulent corporation would have even less incentive to stop defrauding people.
Merely telling someone what the law says is *not* practicing law.
Representing someone in court is *certainly* practicing law.
There's a lot of grey area in between.
How about analyzing a client's situation, reviewing applicable law, advising the client of their legal options, and recommending a course of action? That's what most lawyers do. That sounds like "practice of law" to me.
But if *that's* illegal (for a non-lawyer), then wouldn't it be illegal for me to tell my driving student, when he is approaching a red light, that red means stop, and that he should stop?
I bought it online, so my options were credit card, check, or wire bank transfer. The retailer's policy was to hold checks for 9 days to ensure that they cleared, and I wasn't willing to wait that long. Had I known what a hassle the credit card was going to be, I would have just paid the extra fee and wired the money. (In the end, that's what I did once I got my money back from the credit card company.)
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)