CBA Record March-April 2020

YLS Special Issue: The Balanced Lawyer

Opportunities for Growth The Task Force is also looking at how to create more opportunities for lawyers to partner with online legal service providers and other business entities. There are a lot of amazing opportunities! Maybe you are an estate planning attorney and your best referral source is a financial planner you know. The two of you decide to pair up, creating a one-stop shop for your clients who used to have to go two different places for the same services. Or maybe you have been seeing reports about the dwindling number of rural lawyers in Illinois and think, I could create a tech platform that would allow me to serve those folks from the comfort of my West Loop office, but I don’t know how to code. So you go into business with a software engineer, and together you make more money and serve more people! Currently, these kinds of partnerships are stifled by Rule 5.4, which prevents lawyers from sharing fees earned from the provision of legal services with nonlawyers. The task force hopes to open up these opportunities, while also staying true to the purpose of Rule 5.4: to ensure that a lawyer’s judgement is not compro- mised by nonlawyer partners. TheTask Force aims to build off of these ideas and submit proposals to the Illinois Supreme Court later this year and we want to be sure that we get your input along the way. Be on the lookout for a request for comments and if you know someone on the Task Force (you can find a list of mem- bers here: https://chicagobarfoundation. org/advocacy/issues/sustainable-practice- innovation/) go grab a coffee and let them know what you think. Together we can make law better for everyone. LaraWagner is an immigration attorney, has served as the YLS chair of the Modern Law Practice Committee for the last three years and is a member of the CBA/CBF task force.

panel. David can then hire one of those attorneys to do just the portion of the case he needs help with—the pleadings. Every- one benefits from this arrangement: David has an easier time in court, the Judge has an easier time adjudicating his case, and his attorney gets an additional revenue stream. While the Supreme Court allows for this arrangement in David’s divorce case, the rule limits limited scope representation to civil cases. The CBA-CBF task force is looking into expanding these rules to allow for limited scope representation in quasi- criminal and misdemeanor cases, as well as expanding its use in federal court. Such an expansion would benefit more consumers like David and the lawyers who serve them. The Task Force is also looking at how the legal profession can follow medicine’s example, by creating legal versions of phy- sician’s assistants and nurse practioners. We have already seen how these occupations benefit the medical field. Say you have a cough that will not go away. It might just be a cold, but it also might be the flu. So you decide to go see your doctor, but when you call to make an appointment, you learn that your doctor does not have an appointment for three weeks. That is not going to help the cough you have now. The receptionist then mentions that you can see the physician’s assistant that afternoon. So you go and learn that all you have is a cold, and the only thing you need is rest. You got the answer you need in a timely fashion---and at a lower cost---and your doctor’s office still got a patient in the door. It’s a win-win for everyone! The same thing can be true for the law. Maybe a young, single person, with almost no assets, does not want to pay an attorney for a will. But they would pay the legal equivalent of the physician’s assistant that works in your office. That person is going to have a good will and you will have more money in the bank.

to try, yet again, to shut out DIY service providers. The answer is to bring them into our regulatory regime. A Focus on Sustainable Legal Practices I am proud to say that Illinois has taken the first steps toward addressing these issues. Last fall, the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation created a new Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law and Innovation, of which I am proud to be a member. Following in the footsteps of other task forces, charged with examin- ing how regulatory reform can increase access to legal services, the CBA-CBFTask Force seeks to: 1. Improve opportunities for lawyers to connect with legal consumers and practice law in a more sustainable, financially viable, and customer- centric manner; and, 2. Provide more cost effective and effi- cient legal support to the public by, where appropriate, optimizing the use of other legal professionals, partnering with online legal service providers and other business and technology enti- ties, and expanding the limited scope representation rules. I am particularly proud of the CBA- CBFTask Force’s focus not just on access to justice issues, but on ensuring that young lawyers like myself can sustain long, suc- cessful careers. The changes that the task- force is looking into will help us do this. Take, for example, soon-to-be-divorced David. Currently the Supreme Court of Illinois allows David to seek out the coaching and drafting assistance he wants, through its limited scope representation rules. And the CBF and CBA have made this pretty easy on David, through their limited scope referral panel. The judge in David’s case, maybe noticing he is well- spoken, but his written submissions are a mess, can give him information on the

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