Litigation » Don’t Lower Legal Fees – Eliminate Lawyers

Don’t Lower Legal Fees – Eliminate Lawyers

February 22, 2017

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Advocates for access to justice should abandon the fight to lower legal fees in favor of pushing for more “non-lawyer” alternatives, writes Jordan Furlong for Lawyerist. He notes that barely 25 percent of lawyers’ business is working for consumers, as opposed to companies, and that decline appears to be accelerating. As fewer lawyers are working for individuals, technological advances are taking off in places like the UK to help consumers do things like file for divorce or establish a will on their smartphones. Furlong notes that even the federal Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission noted that tech could be a boon to U.S. consumers. “Interactive software programs for generating legal documents appear to be responsive to consumer demands for more cost-effective and efficient ways to address their legal issues,” the agencies wrote in a letter about a North Carolina UPL law. “The Agencies believe that consumers generally benefit from competition between lawyers and non-lawyers in the provision of legal-related services.” Furlong predicts that the tide is turning on this issue: “I think we can draw at least this conclusion: from now on, access to justice is going to be less about lawyers and more about alternatives to lawyers. Specifically, the access-to-justice movement is going to focus less on making lawyers’ services more affordable, and more on making people aware that they have choices other than lawyers for their legal needs.”

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