A Stanford Law School study published today of regulatory reforms in Utah and Arizona finds that they are “spurring substantial innovation,” that they are critical to serving lower-income populations, and that they do not pose any substantial risk of consumer harm.
“The evidence gathered in this report shows that rule reforms can spur significant innovation, both in the ownership structure of legal services providers and in the delivery models used to serve clients,” the report concludes.
The comprehensive report was written by David Freeman Engstrom, co-director of the Deborah L. Rhode Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford, and Lucy Ricca, director, policy and programs at the Rhode Center and formerly executive director of the Utah Office of Legal Services Innovation — the office that oversees the so-called Utah sandbox.
The report, Legal Innovation After Reform: Evidence from Regulatory Change, set out to examine the impacts of regulatory reforms adopted in Arizona and Utah, where those states have relaxed or eliminated rules on who can practice law and own law firms.
(For more on these reforms, see: Breaking: In Historic Vote, Utah Supreme Court Approves Sweeping Changes in Legal Services Regulation and Arizona Is First State To Eliminate Ban On Nonlawyer Ownership Of Law Firms.)