How to Regulate Legal Services to Promote Access, Innovation, and the Quality of Lawyering

53 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2016

See all articles by Gillian K. Hadfield

Gillian K. Hadfield

University of Toronto; Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence; OpenAI; Center for Human-Compatible AI

Deborah Rhode

Stanford Law School

Date Written: February 16, 2016


Proposals to change the regulatory framework for the legal profession to increase access to legal services have been made for decades. The organized bar frequently responds to these proposals by raising concerns about the difficulty of regulating alternative providers and corporate legal services entities with nonlawyer investors or managers. In this paper we explore the nature of the regulatory challenge. By reviewing in detail the approach developed in the U.K. under the 2007 Legal Services Act - which initiated a licensing regime for legal services entities including but not limited to lawyer‐owned law firms - we demonstrate the feasibility, and benefits, of developing an analogous regime in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

Hadfield, Gillian K. and Rhode, Deborah, How to Regulate Legal Services to Promote Access, Innovation, and the Quality of Lawyering (February 16, 2016). Hastings Law Journal, Forthcoming, USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS16-6, USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 16-7, Available at SSRN:

Gillian K. Hadfield (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
4169784214 (Phone)

Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence ( email )

OpenAI ( email )

Center for Human-Compatible AI ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Deborah Rhode

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650 723.0319 (Phone)

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