A California bar committee looking at launching a program for licensed legal paraprofessionals in the state may have shot down a plan to allow these individuals to own minority shares in law firms. But that doesn’t mean that the wider conversation about outside ownership of legal businesses in the Golden State is over.
California’s Closing the Justice Gap Working Group continues to mull the adoption of a regulatory sandbox to encourage innovative legal service delivery models serving clients at all income levels. Like in Utah, where a regulatory sandbox is already in place, that discussion includes opportunities for nonlawyers to take ownership shares in businesses that provide legal services. And any reforms that come out of the country’s largest jurisdiction will no doubt shape thinking elsewhere around the country.