Connecticut Legal Industry Reform
Connecticut is revamping its legal services industry. After recognizing that increased access to justice can’t be achieved without reform, the state is researching and developing reform options, and it won’t be long before reforms are put into practice. In the meantime, we root from the sidelines.
“The legal industry needs to take a hard and fast look at how we are operating … there is a way for everyone to win. It is just a matter of being more creative.”
What Legal Industry Reforms Are Being Considered in Connecticut?
Connecticut is studying reform options via five subcommittees of the Connecticut State Bar Legal Profession Task Force. Each committee is focusing on one area of reform and looking at how changes within each framework would impact access to justice:
- Leveraging Technology to Advance the Legal Profession
Exploring how technology is already being used in the legal profession and how it could be further utilized to aid the public.
- Advancing the Legal Industry through Alternative Business Models (ABMs)
Assessing how the legal industry might collaborate with other industries for consumer benefit. This subcommittee is also considering the establishment of an innovation center, which would continuously explore ABMs.
- Law School and Future Lawyers
Analyzing the skills new lawyers need to be successful and recommending changes to the Connecticut Bar Examination Committee, as well as possible curriculum changes.
- Modernizing Lawyer Referral & Law Firm Models
Improving the lawyer referral system and fee rules. Also looking at ways to help lawyers transition into related careers and retirement.
- Revising Ethics Rules
Assessing current rules from the perspective of a “plain English” approach, and clarifying or amending the rules as needed. Will also develop continuing education and programs to educate both the public and bar members about the rules.
When Will Legal Reforms in Connecticut Be Implemented?
Recommendations by the Connecticut State Bar Legal Profession Task Force are expected in Fall 2021. After that, the Task Force will continue assessing other states’ legal industry innovations while moving their own reform research forward.
Why Is Legal Industry Reform in Connecticut Necessary?
Legal industry reform is necessary in Connecticut because access to legal help in the state is lacking. Connecticut has tried for years to increase access to justice through legal aid and pro bono work. And yet, the state’s legal industry continues to be unable to meet the needs of many of its citizens.
As Connecticut Bar Association President Ndidi Moses says, “The legal industry needs to take a hard and fast look at how we are operating … there is a way for everyone to win. It is just a matter of being more creative.”
How Does Law on Call Fit in to Connecticut Legal Reform?
We are hopeful that within the next several years, Connecticut will allow nonlawyer-owned law firms like Law on Call to begin operating within the state. In the meantime, we’re focusing on providing stellar legal services to our Utah clients.
Is Connecticut the Only State Pursuing Legal Industry Reform?
No! At least a dozen states are considering legal industry reform and researching the access to justice gap.
In Utah, the legal regulatory Sandbox is up and running and Law on Call has been in operation there since Winter 2021. In Florida, legal reform is inching closer to implementation. And in Arizona, lasting legal reforms are already in place—Law on Call submitted an application to form an Alternative Business Structure in the state.
Legal industry reform is just beginning.