New ABA website details regulatory landscape for delivery of legal services in all 50 states

The ABA Center for Innovation recently released an interactive online catalog of state regulatory innovations that relate to access to justice issues and delivery of legal services.

Currently, no one-stop resource collects how state regulatory frameworks vary or new approaches to the regulation of legal services. The ABA Center for Innovation has responded to the lack of available information by producing this resource for the legal community and the public.

The Legal Innovation Regulatory Survey covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia and builds on the 2016 report of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. The new survey provides state-by-state information of known efforts to reform the regulation of legal service delivery while also providing access to relevant case law.

“This report is a major step forward for the legal profession as we look to address America’s growing access to justice gap,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “It is the first time we have a comparative study of the regulatory landscape for the delivery of legal services as adopted in each state. This will enable us to see the potential effect of those rules on access to justice and identify innovations to help expand the delivery of legal services.”

The report highlights major efforts underway in Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico and Utah to determine whether regulations should be revised to more effectively meet the public’s legal needs.

Among other topics, it identifies several ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct that are closely connected to legal services innovation and catalogs ways in which state approaches to those rules vary. The survey compares, for instance, state approaches to the unauthorized practice of law and the authorization of other kinds of legal services providers.

As new information about efforts to reform legal service delivery becomes available, the Center for Innovation encourages members of the legal profession and other stakeholders to submit them for review and inclusion on the site.