A few days ago I wrote that the California Bar’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services submitted its recommendations for a period of public comment.
Today, I read that, according to a report in Bloomberg Law, "[t]he State Bar of California has been inundated with more than 400 comments in response to a series of sweeping proposed rule changes that include allowing nonlawyers to share in law firm profits and provide legal advice." More than 100 comments were filed to the bar in the first 24 hours after the group issued notice that the comment period had begun.
Again, according to the story, the individual rule change that has received the most comments is the one that would authorize nonlawyers, with appropriate regulations in place, to provide certain types of legal advice and services. The new approach, suggested in order to provide access to legal services in areas of “critical need,” including evictions, and domestic violence and immigration cases, would provide an exemption to the rules banning unauthorized practice of law. As of Aug. 5, the state bar had received 12 comments in support of the proposal, but more than ten times that number against it.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg also reports in a separate story that "[t]he proposals . . . to allow nonlawyers to share in law firm profits and provide legal advice received vigorous backing from notable law professors and several other speakers at a public hearing Aug. 10."
The comment period runs through September 23.