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Nonlawyers could offer legal advice and partly own law firms under these California proposals
from the ABA Journal:
The State Bar of California is asking for public comment on proposals that would allow legal technicians to offer legal advice and nonlawyers to hold a financial interest in law firms.
The bar will be seeking comment for 60 days beginning this week, according to Law360 and a press release. Above the Law and Bloomberg Law have prior coverage of the proposals by the bar’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services.
The task force’s proposals would allow the sweeping changes by modifying restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law and ethics rules that ban fee sharing with nonlawyers. The proposals call for:
• Allowing nonlawyers to provide specified legal advice and services, with appropriate regulation.
• Allowing entities that provide legal or law-related services to be made up of lawyers, nonlawyers or a combination of the two. Regulation would be required and could differ based on the type of entity.
• Allowing lawyers to be part of a law firm in which a nonlawyer holds a financial interest.