IANAL et al. is usually the start of answers to [legal] questions on any SE site (e.g. this). You usually end up with personal opinions which sound sensible and the accepted answer is often the one closest to the OP's hopes. But it's probably often not correct. I know the situation can be rather complicated and even differ by location, but it would be really helpful if the SE team were providing official lawyers (indicated maybe by using a § in the username, forbidden for everyone else, just like the mod ♦) to provide some orientation that one could actually rely on beyond much doubt...
I initially thought that you meant the legal questions here on MSO. I can see how an informed answer for those makes a bit more sense.
For anything under the sun across the network? That doesn't make as much sense to me. How is this different from hiring someone to go around the network and answer any C++ question? Stack Exchange is the host for the content on the network, but it isn't responsible for providing the answers to the questions asked on the network (aside from questions about the actual network/company on the meta sites, of course).
If SE started doing this, they'd be bankrupt and on their arse begging for odd jobs within a year:
I've seen how much a good lawyer gets paid. It's disgraceful. In fact I've seen NGO's where the General Secretary (boss) earns less than their lawyer.
As soon as you dispense official law advice, you open up a world of pain if it's wrong. Who do they contact when they get sued because they got bad advice? Whose going to defend them?
People will take advantage of this for all sorts of reasons, so if you're paying them on a per-question basis, soon the costs will skyrocket.
Also, lawyers are not experts on everything. There might be IP questions, Trademark questions, Copyright questions, Fair employment questions. And what's true in one country may be blatantly false in another country. So are you going to hire a lawyer from every expertise in every country to answer the questions?
Reliable legal advice, on a global site (implying various jurisdictions), without knowing the specific legal situation of the asker? I'd rather go for something less ambitious, like the universal translator or proving P == NP.
No, seriously, to list the major pitfalls:
- jurisdiction (well, the server is in Kinakuta, the company is incorporated in Elbonia and clients access it from Eurasia, which has specific laws concerning this kind of thing)
- status of the asker (natural person? corporation? what exact and specific types thereof? any applicable exemptions for people born in 1983 who lived in Ohio in 1990 and relocated to Florida in 2002?)
- accuracy in time (any advice older than a year is pretty much guaranteed to be outdated)
- responsibility (hiring a lawyer means someone is responsible for the advice. Would it be the lawyer? Or SE?)