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  Alicyn M. Freeman
Alternative Business Structures: The Non-Lawyer Owned Law Firm in Arizona
By Alicyn M. Freeman
In 2020, the Arizona Supreme Court eliminated Ethics Rule 5.4 and created a regulatory framework to license “Alternative Business Structures” effective January 1, 2021. The Alternative Business Structure is an entity that provides legal services and has non-lawyer ownership or decision-making authority in the business. According to the Task Force on the Delivery of Legal Services’ Report and Recommendation from October 4, 2019, the purpose of the Alternative Business Structure program is “rooted in the idea that entrepreneurial lawyers and nonlawyers would pilot a range of different business forms” that will ultimately improve access to justice and the delivery of legal services. According to azcourts. gov, the advantages of allowing the formation of an Alternative Business Structure include:
• Greater technological innovations in the deliverer of legal services to the public
• Additional capital to be infused in legal firms
• Attraction of the “best and brightest” nonlawyer partners (as they desire equity in a firm just as lawyers want to be firm partners)
• Allow for “one-stop shops” to provide legal and non-legal services to a client.
• 62.3% of Arizonans support the Alternative Business Structure
Law Practice Management

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