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Robert Boughton
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To Ted, who said back in '04 that he wished he knew the etymology of jackleg lawyer: Entry printed from Oxford English Dictionary © Oxford University Press 2004 jack-leg, jackleg, a. and n. B. n. An incompetent or unskilled or unprincipled person. 1850 Amer. Rev. Mag. XI. 465/2 A party of some twenty of the most notorious rode up, headed by what is there [sc. in Texas] known as a 'jack-leg' lawyer. 1853 'Po PAXTON' Stray Yankee in Texas xiii. 137 A sorter jack-leg lawyer. Ibid. xxviii. 284 In the Texan vocabulary, all men who have a mere inkling of any trade or profession are called 'jack-legs'. Ibid., These men were 'jack-leg' carpenters. 1891 Harper's Mag. June 160/1 Once I was called a jack-leg and shyster. 1902 W. N. HARBEN Abner Daniel ii. 16 The Atlanta jack-leg lawyer is akin to the Tompkins family some way. 1943 R. OTTLEY New World A-Coming 86 The cultists were augmented by a number of herb doctors, clairvoyants, and 'jackleg' preachers. 1958 P. OLIVER in P. Gammond Decca Bk. Jazz i. 19 The wandering evangelists, and 'Jack-leg' preachers. 1974 Amer. Speech 1971 XLVI. 70 One innovation possibly attributable to population shift is jackleg preacher, which Carlson heard from a black informant in Roxbury . Late, but hopefully you're still in the forum.