Category Archives: Legal Aid

Blog, Lawyer Monopoly, Legal Aid

Who Deserves Legal Help and Who Doesn’t? The Answer Is Not In Words, But Actions

Section 81.102(a) of the Texas Government Code states that “a person may not practice law in this state unless the person is a member of the state bar.” Section 81.102(b) then allows for the Supreme Court of Texas to “promulgate rules prescribing the procedure for limited practice of law” by lawyers admitted out-of-state and by law students.

On August 29, 2017, the Supreme Court of Texas took advantage of this power, by adopting “Emergency Order After Hurricane Harvey Permitting Out-of-State Lawyers to Practice in Texas Temporarily.”

The Order provides that a lawyer who is admitted to the bar of another state and is in good standing in that state may, for a period of six months from August 29, 2017, “practice law in Texas” if that lawyer “is retained by a legal-aid or pro bono program or a bar association that provides services to victims of Hurricane Harvey.”[1]

It is important to note that no one, at least not in any online forum, has criticized the Order. Most notably, no one has said that out-of-state lawyers will provide inferior legal services to victims of Hurricane Harvey, by virtue of not being admitted to the Texas bar. No one has complained that the out-of-state lawyers will steal legal aid or pro bono work from Texas lawyers. No one has even complained that the out-of-state lawyers, working for free, will deprive Texas lawyers of paid work.

No, rather than criticizing the Order, it was welcomed. On the very day the Order was issued, the blog of the Texas Bar (of which all lawyers admitted to the bar in Texas are obligatorily members) posted an entry announcing the Order and providing a link to a form for out-of-state lawyers to fill out in order to volunteer. On the next day (August 30), the ABA Journal published an online article to publicize the Order and provide information about how out-of-state lawyers can assist. And the bars of other states, like Florida, Tennessee and Maryland publicized the Order, encouraging its lawyers to volunteer and providing links for additional information. Indeed, the only negative comment I was able to find about Texas opening itself to out-of-state lawyers was one by Margaret Becker of Legal Services NYC, who was involved with recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy. As reported by Bloomberg BNA: “A lot of outside firms came to help with flood insurance and ‘they’re a mixed bag,’ Becker said. Some were conscientious but others were not, she said.”

While the Order itself was not criticized, that does not mean that its issuance did not prompt criticism. That criticism was directed at the circumstances that required the Order, and namely the restrictions that Texas and other states (either on the basis of ABA Model Rule 5.5 or otherwise) place upon multijurisdictional practice. One commentator to the ABA Journal article, Josh Effron, wrote that the Order:

helps to show the silliness of preventing lawyers from practicing across State lines in the first place: if an out-of-State lawyer is good enough to practice law in one case (i.e., pro hac vice) and is good enough to practice on a temporary basis (such as in this case), then clearly that lawyer is good enough to practice in general.

The only reason why we make it hard for lawyers to practice across State lines is not to protect the public but, rather, as a form of protectionism, for in-State lawyers to insulate themselves from competition. This runs completely counter to the alleged goal of State bars as protectors of the public interest (rather than the economic interests of the lawyers in that State).

Another commentator was equally harsh: On the website Above the Law, Elie Mystal wrote an article entitled “Texas Allows Out-Of-State Lawyers To Help, Kind Of Highlighting The Stupidity Of State Bar Restrictions.” He continued:

While we’re casting about for silver linings, might this kind of assistance lead us down a path where state bars more generally loosen out-of-state prohibitions on lawyers willing to work pro bono? I mean, I get the economics of out-of-state restrictions. This State’s bar can’t have That State’s lawyers flying in and scooping up all the legal work. It’s stupid and leads to economic inefficiencies, but I get the reasons for it.

But surely, when it comes to pro bono work, why should it still matter what state you are barred in? Why should we make people willing to help for free endure the friction of finding “local counsel” and all that? I don’t mean to sound like Jim Harbaugh, but Legal Aid should be a backbone of our social safety net, and limiting that service based on state bar requirements doesn’t seem to be helping anybody.

The point that Effron and Mystal are making is, essentially, that if a state can allow multijurisdictional practice in order to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, then why can’t other states —all states —allow multijurisdictional practice in other contexts? Mystal limits his question to the context of pro bono (free) legal work, while Effron asks it with respect to all legal work, without differentiation. Both complain that restrictions on multijurisdictional practice do not serve the public interest. To the contrary, they are nothing but a form of economic protectionism for in-state lawyers that operate to limit the public’s access to legal services.

These are entirely accurate observations about the Order, and they raise entirely legitimate objections to restrictions on multijurisdictional practice. However, they do not go far enough. Here is how they could, and should, go further:

1)         While there is no count—official or otherwise —of the number of victims of Hurricane Harvey who will need legal assistance, it will likely be a high number. And many of those persons won’t need legal help for just one matter or requiring just one type of legal expertise. To the contrary, they are likely to require help with respect to multiple matters and a wide range of subject areas: insurance, real property and mortgage, landlord/tenant, family law, bankruptcy, litigation, wills and estates, probate, consumer protection, employment. In this context, it is quite possible if not likely that the demand for free legal services by victims of Hurricane Harvey will be greater than the supply that lawyers, be they from Texas or out of state, will be willing or able to provide. That is, just as legal aid organizations across the country are not able to serve the needs of everyone who is eligible for legal aid, so many victims of Hurricane Harvey will not be able to access free legal services because the demand will be greater than the supply. Some of those persons will be able to pay at least something for legal services. Who will they turn to? If they are paying for the services, they will be limited to lawyers admitted in Texas. Where is the logic in that? According to the laws of supply and demand, the fees charged by the Texas lawyers should be higher than they would be if Texas were open to competition from out-of-state lawyers on a fee-paying basis also. If the victims of Hurricane Harvey can access out-of-state lawyers for free legal services and no one claims that the quality of those services will be harmful to those victims, or even simply inadequate, then on what basis can it be legitimate to deny the victims access to out-of-state lawyers on a fee-paying basis in a more competitive marketplace than one that is limited to Texas lawyers only?

Keep in mind that the Order is valid for six months—unless the Supreme Court issues an extension, all of the out-of-state lawyers (again, working for free) will need to wrap up their work by late February/early March 2018. It is unlikely that all outstanding legal issues connected to Hurricane Harvey will be fully resolved by then. Regardless of whether the Supreme Court issues an extension or not, the Order will at some point expire and when it does, victims of Hurricane Harvey will no longer have access to free legal services by out-of-state lawyers (not legally, anyway). And if they can’t find a Texas lawyer willing to work for free then they’ll have to get in line and pay for a Texas lawyer, just like everyone else.

It is in considering the situation from this urgent context that the pure protectionist purpose of Model Rule 5.5 (the protection of in-state lawyers) is laid bare—indeed, stark naked—and the need to end such protectionism becomes even clearer.

2)         The Order itself is an acknowledgement on the part of the Supreme Court that how lawyers are regulated generally, and the unauthorized practice of law rules specifically, have a direct and demonstrable effect upon the extent to which citizens of a state are able to access legal services. (This is a topic that I explore in my book Modernizing Legal Services in Common Law Countries: Will the US Be Left Behind?). Going further, the Order is an acknowledgement that the exclusion of out-of-state lawyers (Model Rule 5.5 and its counterparts) has the effect of denying needed legal services to a population. Hurricane Harvey did not invent this situation, it simply made it more acute and more blatant for a very particular population: one that is large but still contained and easily identifiable, as well as highly mediatized and easy to sympathize with.

3)         The Order exposes the belief on the part of Supreme Court of Texas (if not all legal regulators) that some legal needs are more worthy than others. As regards the victims of Hurricane Harvey, the Supreme Court considers their legal needs so worthy, the court acted very quickly (just four days after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast on August 25) in order to take very rare (unprecedented?) steps to expand the supply of free legal services, even if some (many?) of the beneficiaries of those services could pay at least something for them. (Unlike the rules of most legal aid organizations, there is nothing in the Order that restricts the beneficiaries of free legal services by out-of-state lawyers only to victims of Hurricane Harvey who are unable to pay for them.)

Contrast what the Supreme Court of Texas presumably learned back in June, 2017 from a report by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), “The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans.” This 68-page Report offers these startling statistics: 71% of low-income households in the United States have experienced at least one civil legal problem in the past year, and 25% have experienced six or more civil legal problems. Of those civil legal problems, the Report states that 86% of them received inadequate or no legal help.” 86%.

The Report lists the most common civil legal problem areas as health, consumer & finance, rental housing, children & custody, education, disability and income maintenance. These problems (together with a host of others, such as domestic violence) afflict the more than 60 million Americans across the country that have family incomes at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, veterans and residents of rural communities. The Report calls out Texas as having 5.7 million people with incomes under the FPL, a large number as compared to other states. More specifically, of Texas’s total population of 26.8 million, 21.1% have incomes under the FPL. Based upon an average household size of 2.84 persons, this means that there are approximately 2 million low-income households in Texas. Extrapolating from the national figures of 71% and 86%, this means that last year in Texas approximately 1.4 million low income households experienced at least one civil legal problem, and of those, no fewer than 1.2 million of those problems received inadequate or no legal help. Contrast that number to these currently available numbers for Hurricane Harvey: as of Friday September 1, it was estimated that 185,149 homes were damaged or destroyed and 364,000 people had registered with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for assistance. Those numbers are considerable, but they do not surpass the 1.2+ million unmet legal needs of low-income households in Texas in the past year.

Underscoring these issues, and going further back, in December, 2016, the Texas Commission to Expand Legal Services issued a report containing eight recommendations to the Supreme Court with the purpose of expanding the availability of civil legal services to low- and middle-income Texans. Those recommendations include “The Court should form a standing committee to maintain accountability for closing the justice gap and to monitor the effectiveness of reform initiatives,” “The Court should encourage the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, and local bar associations to create pipelines of services for modest-means clients,” and “A primary objective of future rulemaking projects should be to make the civil justice system more accessible to modest-means clients.”

There is no evidence in the public record that, since December, 2016, the Supreme Court of Texas has acted upon these or any of the other recommendations in the Texas Report. Nor is there any evidence that since June, 2017, the Supreme Court of Texas has taken any steps to address the situation of the 1.4 million low-income Texas households described in the LSC Report. Why would the Court would be utterly inactive with respect to the dire needs described in those Reports and at the same time be so quickly reactive with respect to the needs of the victims of Hurricane Harvey, if the Court did not believe that some legal needs are more worthy—more deserving of resources and attention—than others?

Do we agree? We can all agree that the victims of Hurricane Harvey deserve legal assistance. Lawyers can demonstrate that agreement by volunteering to help them on a pro bono basis. By all accounts, many lawyers have volunteered, all within a matter of days. But do we also agree with the Supreme Court of Texas that the 1.4 million low income households in Texas (and by extension the 60 million low-income persons throughout the United States) are less deserving of assistance with their legal issues that are unrelated to Hurricane Harvey? We can declare over and over that they are equally deserving of assistance, but, like the Supreme Court of Texas, our inaction says otherwise: We do believe that some legal needs are simply more worthy than others.

[1] The Order also allows a lawyer to “practice law in Texas” if that lawyer was displaced form his/her home state due to Hurricane Harvey and works remotely from a Texas location to provide legal services in his/her home state.

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Related posts on this site:

Chapter 9: Alternative Structures Cannot Help Those Who Cannot Pay

Chapter 12: Opportunities for Legal Aid

Chapter 20: Unmet Need as Human Rights Crisis

Chapter 23: Endless Objections and The Lawyer Monopoly

Blog, Legal Aid

Legal Aid: What Am I Missing?

I am clearly missing something. I just don’t get what it is.

Yesterday (February 20) Linda Klein, the President of the American Bar Association, posted this on the ABA website:She didn’t mention it, but it’s likely she posted this in reaction to the recent news that the Legal Services Cooperation is included on a list of federal programs targeted for elimination, ostensibly as a budget-saving measure.

Just in the past week, on Twitter Klein also posted this:And this:It’s all great. Who can argue that it isn’t important to have a “robust” Legal Services Corporation? Who can argue that veterans shouldn’t receive pro bono legal services? Who can argue that, more generally, lawyers shouldn’t offer more services on a pro bono basis?

And Klein is by no means the first person (or the last) of the ABA to argue in favor of more pro bono and, in particular, of more financial resources for the Legal Services Corporation and other legal aid organizations.

Just have a look at this page on the ABA website: It states that:

Financial resource limitations remain one of the largest barriers preventing civil legal aid providers, even with their pro bono allies, from addressing the needs of low-income communities.

The page contains a wealth of information, resources and advice for persons interested in seeking more money to fund legal aid. It’s clear that a great many people spent a lot of time and energy on it.

Again, it’s all great. Who can argue with it?

Let’s look again at the justification Klein gives for the ABA’s support of a “robust” Legal Services Corporation. She says that the LSC is needed “to assure justice for all:”

Our nation’s core values are reflected in the LSC’s work in securing housing for veterans, freeing seniors from scams, serving rural areas when others won’t, protecting battered women, helping disaster survivors back to their feet, and many others.

Again, it’s impossible to argue with this. All these people, and more, need legal help. In many cases, they need it desperately. Yet, even with the money currently going to the Legal Services Corporation and other legal aid providers, it isn’t enough. Of those who seek legal aid, at least 50% are turned away for lack of resources. The shortage of civil legal services in the United States, for the poor as well as for the middle class, is so great is has been described devastating, as well as a human rights crisis. In sum, as important as the Legal Services Corporation is, it does not “assure equal access to justice for all.” It would need a lot more money for that to be the case.

Money for legal aid. Money for legal aid. Money for legal aid. That is the mantra of the ABA, and of a great many bar associations. And why do we need money for legal aid? To provide legal assistance to those who need it but cannot pay for it. Because, Klein states, it is part of our nation’s core values.

It is part of our nation’s core values to reject ways of providing legal aid that do not rely upon public funds or on pro bono work?

Apparently it is because it is what we are doing.

Both the current day as well as history provide us with examples of how free legal assistance can be provided without reliance on public funds.

The best examples of the current day are the Australian “sister” corporations Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian, both wholly owned by the Salvation Army. Salvos Legal is a commercial and property law practice that serves corporate clients. Salvos Legal Humanitarian is a law firm that provides services to the “disadvantaged and marginalized” in a variety of areas, including family law, housing, migration and refugee matters, debt and criminal law. The services of Salvos Legal Humanitarian are offered free of charge; the firm has a staff of lawyers whose salaries are paid from the income, less expenses, of Salvos Legal. Salvos Legal Humanitarian receives no government funding, nor any funding from the Salvation Army — it is funded from the income earned by Salvos Legal, which serves its corporate clients on a paid basis. As of today, Salvos Legal Humanitarian has provided free legal services for approximately 18,113 matters across its 16 offices in eastern Australia.

Salvos is not a well-kept secret. To the contrary, its contributions to Australia have been recognized and highly lauded on a number of occasions: In 2014, Salvos Legal was named “Law Firm of the Year” by the Australian Lawyers Weekly. In 2015 it was named “Corporate Citizen Firm of the Year” and “Boutique Firm of the Year” by Australasian Lawyer, and it again won a Lawyers Weekly award, this time in the category “Pro Bono Program of the Year.  In 2016 it won yet again, Australasian Lawyer naming it both “Law Firm of the Year (up to 100 lawyers)” and “Corporate Citizen Firm of the Year.” In addition, Luke Geary, the Managing Partner of both firms, was listed in Pro Bono Australia’s impact25, which recognizes the social sector’s most influential people of 2015. Pro Bono Australia described Luke Geary as having “managed to create a self-sufficient law firm that helps some of the most needy people in the community.” In doing so, Pro Bono Australia continued, “he has changed the face of the funding of pro bono legal services in Australia.”

The past also provides us with examples of how legal services can be provided to the poor without reliance on public funds. Those examples can be found in Felice Batlan’s book Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945. This fascinating book details how, over a period of decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of women’s social services organizations in the United States provided free legal services to the poor. They did this sometimes with the assistance of professional lawyers, but, in most cases, with “lay” lawyers — that is, with women who did not have a formal legal education and were not admitted to the bar but who did have extensive legal knowledge and experience. In either case, the services were provided free of charge (as well, in many cases, in combination with other, nonlegal services, such as help to find employment, housing or clothing) yet also without any allocation of public funding.

Today women’s social services organizations no longer play the role in society that they once did. That does not mean, however, that the types of legal issues that they dealt with or the types of causes that they championed have disappeared. To the contrary, they are still very much alive and championed in a large variety of community organizations and advocacy groups that seek to help poor and disadvantaged persons with respect to housing, labor conditions, domestic violence,… While these organizations of course provide information to their members and constituents, to the extent that information is legal in nature, and certainly to the extent it is tailored for any specific individual or case, the organizations enter a gray area where their activities could be characterized as the unauthorized practice of law. In this manner they must limit the legal services they provide in order to not run afoul of unauthorized practice of law rules.

What stops us from creating in the United States a Salvos Legal/Salvos Legal Humanitarian? What stops us from creating modern-day versions of the social services organizations so vividly described in Batlan’s book? In other words, what stops us from creating structures that can provide legal services to the poor without reliance on public funding?

Just this: the regulations that restrict nonlawyer ownership and control of law firms combined with rules on the unauthorized practice of law.

Again, Salvos is not a secret. It is well-known in the US among those who are interested in the topics of alternative structures and the regulation of legal services. However, those same people, as far as I can tell, reject the Salvos model for the United States. Perhaps the best example of this is a Twitter conversation I had just a few days ago. When I argued that regulations need to be changed in order to allow for a greater number and variety of legal services providers to enter the market, my correspondent challenged me, stating “so far no one has found something I can’t do today that regulatory change would allow me to do.” When I responded that the Salvos model (among several others) would be impossible in the US, he retorted that Salvos could be replicated in the US with a law firm that donates its profits to legal aid. And he went one step further, saying “We already can do better.”

If my Twitter correspondent is right – if both the Salvos model can be so easily replicated with “a law firm that donates its profits to legal aid,” and if “we can already do better,” then why does the ABA (and others) spend so much time and energy seeking funding for legal aid? Instead, shouldn’t they be focusing their time and energy on creating “law firms that donate their profits to legal aid,” and shouldn’t they be doing that already “better” thing my Twitter correspondent mentioned? Couldn’t we, in that way, end our reliance upon public funding for legal aid?

In sum, there is something I really struggle to understand. If we don’t need to change our regulations to allow for a US version of Salvos Legal because we can already create structures that serve the same purpose (provide free legal services to the poor) – in fact, if we can already, as my Twitter correspondent said, even “do better” – then why do we need public funding for legal services at all? Why aren’t we, instead, out there creating all those law firms that will donate their profits to legal aid? If our regulations are so great and don’t need to be changed, then why isn’t that enough?

What am I missing?

If you’d like to subscribe in order to receive notices of new posts, you can do so by scrolling to the bottom of this page — you’ll see the place in the bottom left corner. Thanks for subscribing!

Related posts on this site:

Chapter 9: Alternative Structures Cannot Help Those Who Cannot Pay For Legal Services

Chapter 12: Opportunities for Legal Aid

Chapter 20: Unmet Need as Human Rights Crisis

Luke Geary, Managing Partner, Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian

Felice Batlan, Professor of Law, ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law

Blog, Legal Aid

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Last weekend, almost as soon as US immigration officials began enforcing Trump’s executive order limiting travel and immigration by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, lawyers began to appear at various airports around the country, eager to help those detained at the border.

They arrived in numbers so great, The Atlantic referred to them as an “army,” and reported that for hours they far outnumbered the people they were trying to help. Photos of what were described as lawyers busy at work in the airports soon appeared on social media and on newspaper websites.

Indeed, the way that so many lawyers organized themselves in very little time was more than impressive. Speaking to the New York Times, Andre Segura, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, stated that a section of a restaurant at JFK airport in New York, was “entirely taken over by attorneys.” They were all working to file petitions for individual clients with the help of the clients’ families. Segura continued:“There were attorneys from numerous major law firms, nonprofits, all working together. I’ve never seen that immediate coming together of teams to start filing actions to try to protect people.”

In a similar vein, Deborah Axt, of the social justice group Make the Road New York, speaking to The Washington Post, stated “The organic outpouring of support has been extraordinary. Attorneys are out en masse mobilizing like organizers.”

It wasn’t just the newspapers that noticed the lawyers’ efforts: Notably, they were lauded by Linda Klein, the President of the American Bar Association, who tweeted

And the lawyers aren’t finished yet. The effects of the travel ban extend well past the several hundred persons detained at US airports to also include many thousands more who are citizens of one of those seven countries and who seek to enter the United States either as temporary visitors, long-term residents, green card holders or refugees. Having learned about the travel ban, they’re not sure if they should even turn up at an airport to try to board their flights to the US. They don’t know if or when they will be able to travel to (let alone live in) the United States again. For these many more persons, no longer concentrated in international airports in the US but spread out across the world, the lawyers are organizing themselves on a larger scale.  They are gearing up for a long-term fight, on the one hand to oppose the executive order in court, and on the other to reach out to and help as many of those affected by the travel ban as possible. And this organization is taking place not only on a national scale, but on an international one, to coordinate and share information with lawyers and other volunteers around the world.

All of this work is being done for free. No one is expecting to be paid. No one is even asking whether any of the beneficiaries of the work might be in a position to pay, even some small amount. Even companies that provide legal services to lawyers are getting in on the game, offering access to research tools and practice management platforms for free.

Of course the lawyers’ efforts can and must be lauded, and of course Klein and others are absolutely right to laud them.

And yet.

It’s not just those affected by the travel ban that need legal services — there are many many others that need legal services — and who in many cases desperately need legal services — for many other reasons.

But when it comes to those people, we have to ask: where are the lawyers?

To take just one example:

Each year the National Network to End Domestic Violence conducts a one-day “census” of the number of individuals who sought services in a single 24-hour period, as well as the types of services requested, the number of service requests that went unmet due to a lack of resources, and the issues and barriers that domestic violence programs face in attempting to help victims of domestic violence.

According to the results of the Network’s 2015 survey (the most recent available), a total of 12,197 requests for help that day went unmet. The survey explains:

Legal services are desperately needed. Legal cases involving domestic violence are often difficult and complex and can include filing for an order of protection, requesting child support, or testifying against the abuser in criminal proceedings. Survivors who don’t have legal representation are frequently further victimized by unfavorable outcomes….Out of all the different types of unmet requests faced by local domestic violence programs nationally, legal representation through an attorney was the second most sought-after service, after housing/shelter. Without proper legal representation or advocacy, survivors and their families continue to struggle with safety issues.

In spite of the great need as well as critical importance of this kind of service for victims of domestic violence, on the day of the survey, only 11% of the 1,752 programs surveyed were able to assist a victim with legal representation by an attorney, and throughout the year only 29% had been able to do so.

One program in Washington described:

We worked with a survivor who didn’t have the income for legal representation and our community didn’t have legal resources to help her. Because she had to represent herself, she was unsuccessful in responding to the abuser’s attorney’s legal tactics. The result was an order that required her to see her abuser weekly when exchanging the children for visitation. This is causing her great anxiety and fear.

Another program, this one in Georgia, reported:

Every day we tell survivors that we can’t help them with their legal matters. We don’t have any lawyer who can take pro bono cases, and Legal Aid only has the capacity to handle emergency matters.

It’s an incredible, even shocking, contrast: This past week there have been “armies” of lawyers ready and waiting at our country’s airports to help those affected by the travel ban — in some cases more lawyers than were actually needed. At the same time, however, there were very few lawyers at our country’s shelters ready and waiting to help victims of domestic violence.

Yet as shocking as the contrast may be, it’s pretty easy to understand.  The situations are barely comparable:

The travel ban is new and has very few precedents. Perhaps even more importantly, the ban is likely perceived by many of not most of the volunteer lawyers  as part of a larger, urgent and highly compelling issue that affects the country generally as well as them personally, which is the direction of Trump’s presidency. Mobilizing in this manner to help those affected by the travel ban is a way to express opposition to Trump and the policies of his Administration. It is more concrete than simply joining a demonstration, and for many of the lawyers likely more gratifying and offers more immediate results. In contrast, domestic violence is hardly new, it has countless precedents and its effects are confined for the most part to the victim and his/her family (at least, its effects are generally perceived in that way). Certainly instances of domestic violence do not raise such fundamental questions about our values as a nation and how our country should be governed. In this manner, providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence understandably seems far less compelling and far less urgent as compared to providing legal assistance to those affected by the travel ban.

All this is true.

And yet.

I can’t help but think — how might it feel to be one of the 4,7 million women who are victims of domestic violence each year in the US, be in desperate need of legal assistance but unable to pay for it, and so have to go without, with potentially dire consequences, notably suffering more violence? All the while knowing that “armies” of lawyers were, at that very moment, on standby at airports to help some of the several thousand people estimated to be affected by the ban? Their problems as a result of the ban are without a doubt considerable, but in most cases unlikely to go so far as physical battering. And to add insult to injury, those affected by the travel ban who are in a position to pay for legal services are nevertheless getting them for free, while so many victims of domestic violence are denied legal services for the simple reason that they are unable to pay for them.

The army of lawyers who are on duty at our country’s airports and beyond have shown a remarkable and truly impressive ability to organize and mobilize on very short notice and with effective results.

They are obviously motivated to help those in need.

When (if?) the dust settles on the travel ban and the lawyers leave the airports for a well-deserved rest, I hope that they will reflect on what more they can do to help others who are in equally if not more desperate need of legal services.

I’m not talking about these lawyers doing more pro bono work themselves — their resources are limited and it would be unreasonable to ask them to do more in that way.

But it would not be unreasonable to ask them to take a good, hard look at the lawyer monopoly on legal services. To take a good, hard look at how the monopoly, together with Model Rule 5.4, operate to deprive a great many people of badly needed legal services.

For example, Australia’s Salvos Legal Humanitarian provides free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence as well as to others who need legal services but have limited means. Salvos Legal Humanitarian and its sister company, Salvos Legal, are both wholly owned by The Salvation Army. Salvos Legal provides commercial and property legal services on a paid basis and the fees it collects, less expenses, are used to fund Salvos Legal Humanitarian. The two companies operate with 16 offices in eastern Australia and since its founding in 2010 to date, Salvos Legal Humanitarian has provided free legal assistance for nearly 18,000 matters. Salvos Legal Humanitarian has done this without any government funding, and without any funding from The Salvation Army. (Contrast that to Catholic Charities which receives significant funding from both the government and Catholic dioceses).

Services like Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian are illegal in the United States. This is because of rules that, on the one hand, grant lawyers a monopoly on the provision of legal services, and that, on the other hand, prevent lawyers from sharing fees with nonlawyers (Model Rule 5.4).

Again, it is obvious that the airport lawyers are motivated to help those in need. Once the airport lawyers have had their rest, I hope that they will turn their obviously considerable talents and energy towards the abolition of those two rules, in order to open the market to a greater variety of persons and structures who can join the airport lawyers in helping to meet the very large and in many cases equally desperate need for legal services.

Related posts on this site:

Chapter 9: Alternative Structures Cannot Help Those Who Cannot Pay for Legal Services

Chapter 12: Opportunities for Legal Aid

Chapter 23: Endless Objections and Calls for Evidence and the Lawyer Monopoly on Legal Services (Or, Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too)

Luke Geary, Managing Partner, Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian

Glenda Terry, Practice Manager, Castle Park Solicitors

Martin Langan, Founder, Road Traffic Representation

Felice Batlan, Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

Blog, Legal Aid

Legal Aid and Lazy Journalism

On January 5 the New York Times posted an editorial criticizing New York governor Andrew Cuomo for vetoing a bill that would have increased state expenditure on legal aid.

The article explains that the bill sought to assist poor people by providing additional funding for criminal defense as well as for legal assistance with civil legal matters, such as child custody and wills and estates. Cuomo seems not to oppose additional funding for criminal defense, given that providing it is a constitutional obligation. For that reason, he stated he is willing to sign a bill that focuses on funding for criminal defense, but it must exclude legal assistance for civil matters.

The article concludes:

With his veto, Mr. Cuomo missed a chance to show leadership by demonstrating New York’s broader commitment to well-funded legal services, which is critical not only when a person faces jail time, but also in noncriminal contexts like family court, where judges can remove children from their parents and order juveniles into state custody. Providing legal counsel to the poor in those cases will have to wait for another bill.

This editorial is incredibly lazy journalism, for two reasons:

The first reason is that it implicitly accepts without questioning the unstated assumption that the only way to increase the availability of legal services for poor people for civil matters is to increase public funding for legal aid.

Of course, it is not just the poor but also the middle class that do not have access to civil legal services in the US. The research of Gillian Hadfield demonstrates that current levels of funding for civil legal aid is only one-tenth of what is needed to provide just one hour of legal assistance for all the households in the US with an unmet dispute-related need (current level is $3.7 billion per year as contrasted to $50 billion per year that would be needed). It is clear that as necessary as increased funding is, it will never come close to being enough. Anyone who is genuine and fully honest in their calls for the poor to have greater access to legal services recognizes this, and understands the huge importance of identifying alternative solutions.

Which leads to the second reason why this editorial is incredibly lazy journalism. It ignores the multitude of solutions that other countries have come up with. For example, it ignores organizations like Australia’s Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian. These sister companies are both owned and managed by The Salvation Army. The first provides commercial legal services to corporations and other institutional clients on a paid basis. The fees it collects, less expenses, are used to fund the second, which provides free legal services to the “disadvantaged and marginalized.” Neither company receives public funding or funding from The Salvation Army.

The reliance upon public funding to provide legal services for the poor is neither sustainable nor scalable. In contrast, Salvos Legal has proven its model to be both of those, having now opened 16 offices across eastern Australia and provided free legal assistance on nearly 18,000 matters to date.

Organizations like Salvos Legal cannot legally operate in the US, because of the lawyer monopoly on legal services and ABA Model Rule 5.4, which prevents lawyers from sharing fees with nonlaywers. (Don’t think for one minute that organizations like Catholic Charities in the US are comparable – to the extent they provide legal services, they rely extensively upon public funding).

Immense energy is spent calling for greater funding for legal aid. Much of that energy should be directed instead to identifying alternative solutions to meet our country’s acute unmet need for legal services, including changing our regulations to allow for organizations like Salvos Legal to operate in the US. Calling for greater funding for legal aid while ignoring the potential of alternative solutions is, at best, incredibly lazy journalism.

The article ends with the sentence “Providing legal counsel to the poor…will have to wait for another bill.” If that is the case, then powerful media outlets like the New York Times share responsibility for that result. This is because they persistently fail to mention — much less to question — the lawyer monopoly on legal services and its devastating effects for the poor as well as the middle class.

Related posts on this site:

Chapter 9: Alternative Structures Cannot Help Those Who Cannot Pay for Legal Services

Chapter 12: Opportunities for Legal Aid

Chapter 23: Endless Objections and Calls for Evidence and the Lawyer Monopoly on Legal Services (Or, Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too)

Luke Geary, Managing Partner, Salvos Legal and Salvos Legal Humanitarian

Glenda Terry, Practice Manager, Castle Park Solicitors

Martin Langan, Founder, Road Traffic Representation

Felice Batlan, Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

Jenny Holloway and Nick Johnson, Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre

Democratizing Legal Services, Legal Aid

Ch 23 Endless Objections and the Lawyer Monopoly

Endless Objections and Calls for Evidence and the Lawyer Monopoly on Legal Services(Or, Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too)

If the laws of the United States accord to the legal profession the exclusive privilege to serve the entire market, shouldn’t the counterpart to that exclusive privilege be the corresponding obligation to serve the entire market? If it is the legal profession — and the legal profession only — that has the right, by law, to serve the legal services market, then shouldn’t the legal profession have the obligation, by law, to develop and implement solutions that do effectively serve the entire market?

Alternative structures are controversial, if not highly controversial. Much has been said and written about them and, no doubt, much more will be. Many objections have been raised and many calls for evidence have been made. With each response, a new objection is raised or a new call for evidence is made. Part I of this book addresses the more commonly raised objections and calls for evidence, but there are a great many more.

Here are some of the additional objections:

  • “It is not clear how the implementation of ABS, by themselves, would contribute to enhancements in technology.”[1]
  • “Systems for checking conflicts would necessarily have to become much more complex.”[2]
  • “Different providers of professional services (which presumably, under an ABS model, could provide services under the same roof) will have different professional codes of conduct, and these may be in conflict with one another — including provisions in different professional codes relating to privilege.”[3]
  • “[I]magine someone who has diverted a lot of cash from his business and is looking for a quick way to clear it up. Buy a law firm and run it through the trust account. Works like a charm, and who thinks … regulators will catch it.”[4]
  • “[ABS does not] result in a better quality of service…In the UK, professionalism of the bar has remained steady since 2011. In contrast, in Illinois disciplinary charges are decreasing and formal disciplinary complaints are at an all-time low.”[5]
  • “The nonlawyer investment ownership and management reforms adopted by our common law cousins were put into place many years ago. Given the quick pace of technological change those reforms […] may simply no longer be applicable or appropriate for the current American experience.”[6]
  • “ABS structures could erode reputational incentives that exist today to encourage lawyers to perform their best work.”[7]
  • “[L]awyers [would become] salaried employees of legal services corporations, lawyers would become mere revenue producing units for outside business owners. On balance, we believe fewer lawyers would prefer that system over the current system.”[8]
  • “ABS could result in a widening gap in income among top tier lawyers and the rest of the profession. … the lawyer “middle class” would shrink.”[9]
  • “Nonlawyer ownership would have allowed Enron.”[10]
  • “Maurice Blackburn, [one of] Australia’s three largest personal injury firms…has not gone public. Because Maurice Blackburn has been able to scale and grow the firm without going public, a comparison of this firm to [Slater and Gordon and Shine] may cast doubt on whether outside ownership is necessary to achieve economies of scale.”[11]
  • “Investment by non-lawyers may allow firms to scale and grow their brand and increase advertising funding, to better allow customers to comfortably rely on brands when trying to seek a legal service provider…However, in reality, the attachment of a brand name to a product is a tenuous guarantee of its quality.”[12]
  • “Well-known companies which own legal service providers may be less likely to offer legal services to publicly unpopular clients out of fear of harming their brand.”[13]
  • [There has been] a dramatic increase in marketing by personal injury lawyers…For the most part, this advertising in in very poor taste. In an ABS world, the amount of advertising by personal injury firms would likely increase…Skillful marketing by financial backers of unskilled lawyers will result in uninformed consumers not getting proper representation.[14]
  • “[We] are concerned about the disappearance of lawyers who provide complex, non-commoditizable services like criminal and family law with no solution for replacing access to justice in these areas, especially for low to middle income clients.”[15]
  • “[A]ny growth of unregulated legal services does not necessarily imply that existing regulatory restrictions are unduly constraining innovation, but could indicate instead that the public is being sold services with little or no value albeit at low costs.”[16]
  • “ABS advances in technology are overstated.”[17]
  • “Many [bar] associations depend on revenue from [continuing legal education (“CLE”)] programs to ensure their financial existence. With firms like Slater and Gordon offering internal [CLE] courses to their staff, without charge, there is no reason for their staff to register and pay for outside [CLE] programs and courses, thus significantly reducing the overall revenue to local [bar] associations.”[18]
  • “ABS entities…may include disbarred lawyers, licensees who have had their licenses revoked or even candidates who petitioned for a license and were refused due to bad character or other issues.”[19]
  • “[T]here is an inherent risk that by introducing non licensed shareholders into the equation, women paralegals will continue to endure more systemic barriers as there is no guarantee that ABS entities will view diversity and equity on the boards as a must.”[20]
  • “[T]here may be other regulated possibilities worth exploring.”[21]
  • “ABS would … take so much money out of the public that the public would have that much less to devote to charitable endeavours.”[22]
  • “[S]everal of the large ABS entities in England have suffered badly and have lost millions and millions of pounds.”[23]
  • “ABS is mostly a smoke-screen to avoid doing anything about the time and cost of litigation.”[24]
  • “Would anyone like our most prestigious firms, or the bulk of our mid to small firms… to be owned by Arthur Andersen, AIG, Enron, WorldCom, Societe Generale, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Volkswagen, Barker Trust, Barlow Clowes, Phar-Mor, Bernie Madoff, Allan Stanford, Tyco International, Health South, Swissair, Baninter, HIH Insurance, Polly Peck, Barings Bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce, Nordbanken, Carrian Group, Bre-X, Equitable Life Assurance, Pacific Gas & Electric, One.Tel, Adelphia, Parmalat, Nortel, Dynergy, Banco Espirito, Union Carbide, and future versions of Medici Bank and the South Sea Company? … What about being owned by divisions of arms manufacturers, drug cartels looking to launder money, immigration fraud companies? Russian carpetbaggers with close ties to global destabilization efforts? Companies ostensibly independent but really controlled by foreign communist or totalitarian regimes looking for an in? … How would you like to be a lawyer on the payroll of those entities and then try to get a job when they are exposed for what they are? How do you wash that taint off?”[25]
  • “We are so proud that the American legal system, while flawed, is the best in the world… We are DIFFERENT for a reason that we should be proud of and embrace. Our system should not look backwards to what other, more flawed, legal systems have had to become. They should be more like us and not us like them.”[26]

And here are some of the additional calls for evidence:

  • “[C]omparisons [to the use of ABS in foreign countries] are of extremely limited utility, in the absence of comprehensive data concerning how the legal systems of those countries operate… in countries such as the UK and Australia, the distinction between barristers and solicitors is still maintained…European countries employ a civil law system, dramatically different from the common law heritage of the United States. The point is that what works well and is beneficial in the context of one society may not be productive at all in the context of another. Further study, or at least further explanation, is needed before attempting to justify an ABS on the basis of its existence in other countries.”[27]
  • “ABS proponents also need to show that ABS structures can work in the regulatory regime we have, not just in the very different regulatory regimes of other common law jurisdictions (if indeed ABS works even in those jurisdictions — a question it is too early to answer).”[28]
  • “There is currently little evidence supporting the conclusion that ABSs are having a transformative effect on the delivery of legal services in the United Kingdom.”[29]
  • “[T]here has been no showing that firms cannot achieve their goals of providing seamless law-related services to clients (if that is what they want to do) by forming ancillary entities as is presently permitted.”[30]
  • “[T]here is not enough empirical evidence available from the jurisdictions in which ABS is permitted (namely Australia and UK), to endorse permitting ABS… Until empirical evidence on the benefits of ABS to access to justice and the market as a whole is available and has been fully and critically reviewed … the introduction of ABS on any level would be premature and, therefore, ill‐advised.”[31]
  • “[M]ore discussion is needed about the true impact for the unemployed licensee before preference is given to non-licensees.”[32]
  • “[T]he deliberations need to remain focused on who will stand to lose the most as opposed to who will gain from ABS.”[33]
  • “[The] impact ABS will have on access to justice in both rural communities and urban communities [should be examined] before concluding that alternative business structures are appropriate.”[34]
  • “What evidence is there to show that ABS has had no negative impact — professional or business on the bar and, in particular, on soles and smalls in Australia and England?.. [We] should be cautious and only proceed once a strong empirical case can be made and only once the practicing bar fully appreciates the impacts to the profession and their business model.”[35]
  • “[C]hanges to the regulation of the legal profession made primarily for the purpose of enhancing access to justice should only be made on the basis of unequivocal evidence of successes from other jurisdictions, and not on theoretical arguments or assertions that ABS will enhance access to justice…[There should be] unequivocal empirical evidence compiled over a significant period of time of substantial net benefit to the public.”[36]
  • “[T]here is a lack of data on the impact of [ABS] on equity and diversity in the legal profession and on access to justice.”[37]
  • “To the extent that proponents of ABS predict benefits from economies of scale in the delivery of service, it is important to determine whether, and to what extent, these require changes to the regulatory framework.”[38]
  • “The decision we face in regards to non-lawyer ownership of law firms will have far reaching consequences that will affect/effect the rule of law, and the very foundation of our government; therefore this issue should be reviewed and discussed exhaustively…There must be a philosophic line of inquiry to accompany the soft science research… To discuss this matter philosophically will help us identify where we want to go as a profession and, ultimately, as a country…We should commission an in-depth study by comparative law scholars and attorneys who practice internationally in order to compare the legal culture, legal structures, and constitutional structures of [the jurisdictions outside the US] to our own.”[39]
  • “There is an absence of empirical data showing savings to consumers of legal services… [T]here are segments in the legal system that have particular access concerns, especially in the family law context [yet] no evidence has been brought forward to show how these access concerns will be effectively addressed and reduced through ABS.”[40]
  • “Proponents of ABS who argue that it offers technological benefits that are unavailable to traditional law firms have thus far fallen woefully short in producing any evidence in support of such claims.”[41]
  • “There is, quite simply, a lack of any empirical evidence that shows:
  1. Why ABS was introduced in the UK and Australia;
  2. Whether the problems sought to be solved in other jurisdictions correlate in any way to the legal landscape in Ontario;
  3. Whether the introduction of ABS has in fact solved the problems it presumably sought to resolve in the UK and Australia;
  4. Whether there has been significantly improved access to justice (particularly in areas of practice where access to justice is a concern);
  5. Whether core values such as avoiding conflicts of interest and the independence of counsel have been compromised to any extent with the introduction of ABS;
  6. Whether the regulatory bodies in the UK and Australia have been effective in dealing with ABS‐related issues as they arise (which includes an examination of the structure of the regulatory bodies and complaints reporting systems); and
  7. What the overall impact has been for the profession and the public interest since the introduction of ABS in jurisdictions where it has been adopted.”[42]

These examples show that there a great many objections that can be raised and calls for evidence that can be made in relation to alternative structures. They are infinite in number and limited only by imagination.

Under the rules of 50 states, only licensed lawyers may provide legal services. As a result of this restriction, licensed lawyers, and the traditional law firm structures in which they practice, hold a monopoly on the provision of legal services. No other person, and no other type of structure — and notably not a multidisciplinary practice or a structure owned in whole or in part by a nonlawyer — may offer legal services without the risk of running afoul of unauthorized practice of law (UPL) and fee sharing rules.[43] (There are two exceptions: since 1990 Washington DC has permitted a limited form of nonlawyer ownership, and in 2015 Washington State began licensing “Limited License Legal Technicians.” These are individuals — not organizations — who are licensed to provide legal advice and assistance in specified areas of the law without the supervision of a lawyer).

Certainly, the full scope of the monopoly is difficult to describe.[44] Further, nonlawyers and non-traditional structures have attempted to chip away at the monopoly, such that some have described the role of the legal profession as having become “a subset of a larger industry that is increasingly populated by nonlawyers, technologists and entrepreneurs.”[45] Others make what is essentially the same observation but from a different perspective — they say, for example, that “legal services to big companies are…already de facto deregulated.”[46]

To be sure, UPL rules have not succeeded in keeping all nonlawyers and all non-traditional structures out of the market — companies like RocketLawyer, LegalZoom, Axiom, Shake and Modria are proof of that. But UPL and fee sharing rules have succeeded in keeping a great many out. As Gillian Hadfield observed: “There are many things that U.S. companies cannot do, and the fact that there is a little going on at the margins does not come close to what could be done if the restrictions were not there.”[47]

Much has been written and said, on the one hand to defend UPL rules (lawyers, by reason of their legal education and training, are more effective and more ethical than nonlawyers) and on the other hand to oppose them (in certain if not many situations, nonlawyers and/or nontraditional structures can provide services of adequate quality and entirely ethically, and thus make legal services available to a greater number of people who otherwise would be forced to go without them altogether).[48]

Without minimizing the importance of that debate, UPL restrictions raise a second and equally important issue: The laws in place in the United States today allocate the entire legal services market to the legal profession — to the legal profession only — and those laws (more or less successfully) support bar associations and other groups of lawyers when they attempt to keep nonlawyers and nontraditional structures out of the market.

Yet, those same laws do not require the legal profession to meet the needs of the entire market. Indeed, when in 2013 the New York Court of Appeals adopted a rule requiring New York attorneys not to provide any minimum amount of pro bono service, but simply to report the number of hours they do spend on pro bono work (as well as any financial contributions they make to organizations that provide legal services to the poor and underserved), the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) strongly objected. In a letter to the Chief Judge of the State of New York, David Schraver, the President of the NYSBA and a partner at Nixon Peabody in Rochester, wrote that “the provision of legal services to the poor is a public responsibility” and that the reporting requirement was “an invasion of privacy.”[49] In 2015 the rule was scaled back to require only anonymous reporting.[50]

If Schraver is correct in saying that “the provision of legal services to the poor is a public responsibility,” then isn’t the effect of the monopoly to severely limit the public’s room for maneuver in meeting its responsibility? Doesn’t the monopoly essentially mean that the only way “the public” can meet its responsibility is to provide money to pay lawyers to provide legal services to the poor? That the public will not be permitted any other means to meet its responsibility?

Further, if “the provision of legal services to the poor is a public responsibility,” why isn’t the provision of legal services to the middle class and to the rich also a public responsibility? If Schraver is drawing a line in order to allocate what is the responsibility of the legal profession as opposed to what is the responsibility of the “public,” why does he draw the line at “legal services to the poor”?

If the laws of the United States accord to the legal profession the exclusive privilege to serve the entire market, shouldn’t the counterpart to that exclusive privilege be the corresponding obligation to serve the entire market? If it is the legal profession — and the legal profession only — that has the right, by law, to serve the legal services market, then shouldn’t the legal profession have the obligation, by law, to develop and implement solutions that do effectively serve the entire market?  Beverley McLachlin, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has stated it in this manner: “If you’re the only one who can provide a fundamental social need from which you benefit, I think it follows that you have to provide it.”[51]

If the United States is not willing to change its laws, either at the federal or state level, in order to oblige the legal profession to serve the needs of the legal service market in its entirety, then doesn’t the United States have the obligation to change its laws in order to open the market to others — including nonlawyers and alternative structures? As discussed in Part III, one of the many objections made to alternative structures is that there is no proof they will increase access to justice. But why should such proof be required? If the provision of legal services to the poor is a public responsibility, shouldn’t members of the public be allowed to try to provide them, even if they may fail? Isn’t this all the more true in light of the examples of Australia and England and Wales — which demonstrate, each with its own example, how nonlawyers and non-traditional structures can play a greater role in the delivery of legal services safely — without the dire consequences to ethical standards that so many have predicted?

Viewed from this context, all of the arguments made in opposition to alternative structures and all of the calls for greater evidence lose their relevance. The bottom line is that there is a massive unmet need for legal services in the United States — a need that some consider a human rights crisis. By law, the members of the legal profession are the only persons who are allowed to meet this need. Yet, the legal profession does not have the means to meet it, and, speaking through its bar associations, it rejects that it has the obligation to do so. At the same time, the Government of the United States is obliged under international treaties “to provide effective remedies to rights violations,” “to guarantee equal treatment before the tribunals and other organs administering justice,” and “to protect against discrimination and provide equal protection under the law.” And under the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United States has committed to “ensur[ing] equal access to justice for all,” as well as to “develop[ing] effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels” that are needed for that purpose.

In this context, what continues to justify the lawyer monopoly on legal services in the US?

Ending the lawyer monopoly on legal services will not, by itself, solve the access to justice problem in its entirety, but it is an important and necessary element. And it will certainly be cheaper than spending an additional $46.3 billion per year on legal aid not to mention more realistic than expecting (let alone requiring) the 1.2 million lawyers of the US to increase their average number of pro bono hours to 900 per year.


[1] The Advocates’ Society, Letter to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on Alternative Business Structures, December 19, 2014, 2,’%20Society.pdf.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 3.

[4] Nicholas E. Gehl, Letter to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on Alternative Business Structures, December 9, 2014, 2,,%20Nicholas.pdf.

[5] Illinois State Bar Association, “Issues Paper Regarding Alternative Business Structures: Request for Comments,” 3.

[6] Ibid., 4.

[7] International Association of Defense Counsel, “ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services – Alternative Business Structures,” 1.

[8] Ibid., 2.

[9] Ross, Letter to Katy Englehart, 2.

[10] Richard M. Leslie, “Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms,” May 1, 2016,

[11] McLeish Orlando, “Submissions Regarding the Implementation of Alternative Business Structures in Ontario,” December 17, 2014, 4,

[12] Ibid., 5-6.

[13] Ibid., 14.

[14] Ibid., 15-16.

[15] Ontario Bar Association, “Alternative Business Structures,” 8.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, “Submission on Alternative Business Structures,” 1.

[18] Ibid., 19.

[19] Women’s Paralegal Association of Ontario, Letter to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on Alternative Business Structures, January 30, 2015, 2-3,

[20] Ibid., 3.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Bradley Wright, December 30, 2014 (6:28 pm), comment on Mitch Kowalski, “Anti-ABS Arguments Continue to Be Based on Emotion.”

[23] Ibid.

[24] Bradley Wright, January 2nd, 2015 (4:45 pm), comment on Mitch Kowalski, “Anti-ABS Arguments Continue to Be Based on Emotion.”

[25] Bradley Wright, January 20, 2016 (8:00 pm), comment on Karen Dyck, “Innovating Regulation on the Prairies,” Slaw, January 20, 2016,

[26] Laura Bellegie Sharp, “Comments Regarding the Alternative Business Solutions Issues Paper,” April 28, 2016, 2,

[27] J. Richard Caldwell, Jr., “Report on ‘Alternative Business Structures,’” April 29, 2016,

[28] New York State Bar Association, “New York State Bar Association’s Comments,” 7.

[29] Perlman, “Towards the Law,” 85.

[30]Richmond, “Discussion Paper on Alternative Law Practice Structures,” 3.

[31] Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, “Submission on Alternative Business Structures,” 1-2.

[32] Lorne Berndt et al., 2.

[33] Ibid., 3.

[34] ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent Defendants, “Comments on Issues Paper on Alternative Business Structures,” May 5, 2016,

[35] The County & District Law Presidents’ Association, “CDLPA’s Response to the Discussion Paper on Alternative Business Structures: The Voice of the Practising Lawyer in Ontario,” n.d., 14,’%20Association%20(CDLPA).pdf.

[36] Thunder Bay Law Association, “Submission to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on Alternative Business Structures,” February 18, 2015, 1,

[37] Equity Advisory Group Working Group on Alternative Business Structures, Memo to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on Alternative Business Structures, January 21, 2015, 2,

[38] Ontario Bar Association, “Alternative Business Structures,” 8.

[39] William M. Leech, “Comment: Issues Paper Regarding Alternative Business Structures April 8, 2016,” May 2, 2016,

[40] Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, “Submission on Alternative Business Structures,” 1, 9.

[41] Ibid., 17.

[42] Ibid., 35.

[43] See generally Derek A. Denckla, “Nonlawyers and the Unauthorized Practice of Law: An Overview of the Legal and Ethical Parameters,” Fordham Law Review 67 (1999): 2581-2599, See also Hadfield, “Innovating to Improve Access,” 3-4.

[44] Laurel S. Terry, “Putting the Legal Profession’s Monopoly on the Practice of Law in a Global Context,” Fordham Law Review 82 (2014): 2907,

[45] William D. Henderson, “A Blueprint for Change,” Pepperdine Law Review 40 (2013): 461-507, 462,

[46] Michael Mills, “The Future of Legal Services: The American Bar Association Commission,” Neota Logic Blog, April 13, 2015,

[47] Laura Snyder, “Does the UK Know Something We Don’t About Alternative Business Structures?,” ABA Journal, January 1, 2015,

[48] See, for example, W. Bradley Wendel, “The Profession’s Monopoly and Its Core Values” (Forward to “Colloquium: The Legal Profession’s Monopoly on the Practice of Law”), Fordham Law Review 82 (2014): 2563- 2585,; Deborah L. Rhode and Lucy Buford Ricca, “Protecting the Profession or the Public? Rethinking Unauthorized-Practice Enforcement,” Fordham Law Review 82 (2014): 2587-2610,; Laurel A. Rigertas, “The Legal Profession’s Monopoly: Failing to Protect Consumers,” Fordham Law Review 82 (2014): 2683-2703,

[49] David M. Schraver, “Mandatory Reporting of Pro Bono Service and Contributions,” 1.

[50] “Pro Bono Reporting Requirements – Attorney Registration,” New York State Unified Court System, last modified May 4, 2015,

[51] Kirk Makin, “Access to Justice Becoming a Privilege of the Rich, Judge Warns,” The Globe and Mail, February 10, 2011,