Skip to main content

Will the ABA Move to Regulate Legal Service Providers?

Last week, Robert Ambrogi of the Law Sites blog noted that the number of startups providing legal services has grown dramatically over the last few years. Using data from Angel List, a site that tracks start-ups, he found that in 2014 the site listed 412 legal startups. Now, only two years later, that number has grown nearly threefold to 1094. Technology continues to have disruptive effects on numerous industries, and many have long seen the legal services market as one ripe for disruption. 

The American Bar Association has taken notice of the rapid rise in non-traditional legal service providers, and may in the future seek to regulate these legal service providers and the services they may offer. A recent discussion paper produced by the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services asks for comment on whether the ABA should encourage states to develop new regulatory structures for these non-traditional (and currently unregulated) legal service providers. According to the report, the types of legal services providers perform are numerous including:  “automated legal document assembly for consumers, law firms, and corporate counsel; expert systems that address legal issues through a series of branching questions and answers; electronic discovery; legal process outsourcing; legal process insourcing and design; legal project management and process improvement; knowledge management; online dispute resolution; data analytics; and many others.”

The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by most states including Texas, govern the actions of the attorney, but not the law firm or legal services provider. The ABA Commission notes that new regulations may be appropriate for protection of the consumers' interests even if the services performed by the provider do not amount to "the practice of law." The Commission suggests as one possible solution  entity regulation, where the entity providing the services is regulated, rather than the individual (e.g. attorney). The Commission notes that this type of regulation may also allow states to regulate some legal service providers that have a great effect on the individual consumer (like automated document services marketed toward individuals), but not others (like legal process serving) where the service is already supervised by the attorney engaging the service.

The Commission is seeking comments on the issue until April 28. The full discussion paper is available here.

Comments

  1. After reading this blog i got lot of information about legal services and also startups services. expert legal opinion | Service Tax Registration

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is such a appreciable content thanks for sharing it.
    Online CFO Services | Tan Registrations

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

It’s that time of year again. Law students across the country are poring over their class notes and supplements, putting the finishing touches on their outlines, and fueling their all-night study sessions with a combination of high-carb snacks and Java Monsters. This can mean only one thing: exam time is approaching.

If you’re looking for a brief but effective guide to improving your exam performance, the O’Quinn Law Library has the book for you. Alex Schimel’s Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades, now in its second edition, provides a clear and concise strategy for mastering the issue-spotting exams that determine the majority of your grade in most law school classes. Schimel finished second in his class at the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he taught a wildly popular exam workshop in his 2L and 3L years, and later returned to become Associate Director of the Academic Achievement Program. The first edition of his book was written shortly after he finished law school, …

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …