The Monopoly Myth and Other Tales About the Superiority of Lawyers

Fordham Law Review, Volume 82, Forthcoming

33 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2014

See all articles by Leslie C. Levin

Leslie C. Levin

University of Connecticut School of Law

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

The legal profession’s control of much of the market for legal services is justified by the claim that only licensed lawyers can effectively and ethically represent clients. This article challenges that claim. A review of a number of studies suggests that experienced nonlawyers can provide competent legal services in certain contexts and in some cases, can seemingly do so as effectively as lawyers. There is also little evidence that lawyers’ legal training, the bar admission requirements, or lawyers’ psychological characteristics make them more trustworthy than nonlawyer legal services providers. The article considers some recent initiatives, such as Washington’s approval of Limited License Legal Technicians, to allow qualified nonlawyers to provide certain legal services. It concludes that even this initiative does not go far enough. At a time when so many individuals cannot afford to hire a lawyer, the public would be better served if more nonlawyer representatives — who were subject to educational and licensing requirements — could provide more legal services to the public.

Suggested Citation

Levin, Leslie C., The Monopoly Myth and Other Tales About the Superiority of Lawyers (May 2014). Fordham Law Review, Volume 82, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2417467

Leslie C. Levin (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
860-570-5207 (Phone)

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