ABA will not allow nonlawyers to own law firms

Association abandons proposal that would allow outsiders equity interest in firms

The American Bar Association (ABA) on Monday announced that it has decided to let go of a proposal that would allow nonlawyers to have an equity interest in law firms. And just like that, the dreams of a million children who wanted to own a law firm, but not actually go to law school, died.

While both Australia and the U.K. allow nonlawyers to have ownership stakes in law firms, in the U.S. it is only permitted in Washington, D.C. Last year, the firm Jacoby & Meyers filed lawsuits in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, claiming that the ban on nonlawyer ownership in those states was keeping it from getting contributions from outside investors. The lawsuit was thrown out last month, but it prompted the New York State Bar Association to form a task force to look into the question of nonlawyer firm ownership.

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.