The Yale Law Journal

Forum Exchange

A Debate on the Future of the Legal Profession: Increased Nonlawyer Participation

19 Oct 2022
Legal Ethics

Ralph Baxter and Stephen Younger debate reforming the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct to allow increased nonlawyer participation. Baxter argues reforms are necessary to solve the access-to-justice crisis. Younger contends nonlawyer ownership will not solve the crisis and would threaten the independence of the legal profession.


Dereliction of Duty: State-Bar Inaction in Response to America’s Access-to-Justice Crisis

Ralph Baxter

Ralph Baxter explains how state bars can alleviate America’s access-to-justice crisis by opening up the justice system to let more people participate. Baxter argues that America has the resources to serve everyone, contends that state bars have a duty to unleash those resources, and prescribes a pro…


The Pitfalls and False Promises of Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms

Stephen P. Younger

Whether nonlawyers should have ownership roles in law firms is a hotly debated topic. This Essay argues against rewriting existing ethical rules to permit nonlawyer ownership because it both fails to solve the access-to-justice problem, as advocates claim it will, and threatens the independence of t…