The World Needs More Lawyers
28 September 2023
We therefore explore the implications of modest reforms that would advance the public interest, with an eye to the encouragement of competitive markets in legal services, and the protection and preservation of the fiduciary nature of legal services. [...] At the root of each of the following proposals is the idea that there is value in lowering the barriers to entry into the legal profession, so long as we ensure an adequate level of protection for consumers of legal services. [...] Regardless of whether the ABA endorses the rule, state policy makers should consider adopting the following: RULE 5.5: Multijurisdictional Practice of Law (a) A lawyer admitted and authorized to practice law in any United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction, subject to the other provisions of this ru. [...] Some argued that these reforms would “completely destroy the practice of law as we know it,” and argued that allowing non-lawyers to offer limited services would “erode the quality of legal services.” To be sure, the State has a legitimate interest in ensuring that those who provide legal services are appropriately regulated to safeguard the public. [...] But the stakes are even higher in the field of medicine, where the quality of the service literally could be the difference between life and death.